Boston Political Asylum & Refugee Lawyer
What Is Asylum?
Immigration status sought by a person either entering the U.S. or already physically in the U.S., who has a reasonable fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion if forced to return to their country of last residence.
Who Is Eligible for Asylum in the US?
Aliens who have remained in the U.S. for less than one year and are part of an eligible Asylum class (i.e. persecuted due to political party, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation group, social group, etc.)
What Is the Visa Duration?
The asylum status can be held indefinitely.
The asylum status does not need to be renewed. Although an asylee may apply for work authorization and this may be renewed on a yearly basis (they expire after one year) if desired, an Asylee is not required to posses a work authorization document as they are granted permission to work in the US as a matter of law.
Immediate family members may be eligible for asylum status with all its benefits such as work authorization, as long as they have been named in the alien’s asylum application; even if any family members are not present in the U.S. at the time the application is filed.
What Documentation Do I Need for an Asylum Petition?
Applicant supporting documentation for Asylum Petition:
- Alien’s birth certificate or other form of identification
- Marriage certificate (if applying with spouse)
- Copy of passport and I-94 for all applicants (if alien already in the U.S.)
- 3 passport style photos on white background for each petitioner
- Evidence of relationship if applying for children under 21 years of age (birth certificates of children, school records, etc.)
- Affidavit from client stating the problems they have had in their country of origin and why they cannot return there
Third Party supporting documentation for Asylum Petition:
- Newspaper articles supporting persecution of “asylum class”,
- Death certificates of family members and other “class members”,
- Medical records showing abuse of petitioners, family members and other “class members”,
- Police reports proving violence against petitioners, family members or other “class members”,
- U.S. Department of State Report on petitioner’s country
- Human Rights Reports supporting situation on petitioner’s country
- Proof of membership in “asylum class” in petitioner’s country of origin, (i.e. if claiming political asylum-documents showing current membership in persecuted party; if claiming religious asylum-documents showing membership in persecuted religious group, etc.)
- Any other documents that demonstrate persecution of petitioner’s “asylum class” in their country of last residence.
What is the Asylum Process Like?
Gather Alien’s information and all supporting documentation-time required depends on client’s ability to obtain documents and his/her level of involvement.
Complete and file asylum application (I-589)-Approximately 15-20 days from the date in which all supporting documentation is obtained. A notice of receipt from the U.S. Immigration Service should be received approximately within 30-60 days.
The US Immigration Service will schedule and mail an interview date (this is generally scheduled for 30 to 900 days from the date recorded in the notice of receipt–the length of time depends on the particular schedule of the interviewing local U.S. Immigration Service office).
Prepare alien for the U.S. Immigration Service Interview and attend the U.S. Immigration Service interview-number of preparation sessions and time required depends on client’s progress and comfort level.
Note: If no final decision (approval or denial) has been made on the petition within 150 days from the date recorded on the notice of receipt, then we will complete and file a work authorization application (this is generally granted within 90 days from its filing date.) If the asylum petition is granted before 150 days, a work authorization application may be filed immediately, however this is not necessary as an Asylee is permitted to work in the U.S. as a matter of law and therefore is not required to possess a separate work authorization document. If a negative decision on the asylum petition is rendered by the U.S. Immigration Service, the case may be heard before the immigration court. This entails an additional process and more time to be incurred in the case.
What are the USCIS Filing Fees?
There are no Immigration Service filing fees for asylum petitions (form I-589). Visit the U.S. Immigration Service fees Website as these change regularly.
What are the Fees of our Boston Immigration lawyers to Petition for Asylum?
Click here to learn more about our immigration legal fees.
Click here if you would like to come in for an initial consultation with one of our immigration attorneys in Massachusetts.
Where Can I Get More Information?
- USCIS Information on Requesting Asylum and Refugee Status
- USCIS Information for Refugees
- USCIS Information on Asylum
- Asylum Eligibility and Definition of Refugee by the USCIS
- How Do I Become a U.S. Permanent Resident as a Refugee or Asylee?
- Green Card Through Refugee or Asylee Status
- Obtaining Asylum in the United States
- As a Refugee or Asylee, How Do I Show My Employer That I Am Authorized to Work in the United States?
- How Do I Get a Refugee Travel Document?
- How Do I Help My Relative Get Refugee or Asylee Status in the United States?
- The USCIS on Benefits and Responsibilities of Asylees
- Information regarding help available to asylees by the International Rescue Committee