Asylum is granted to people already in the U.S. who have been persecuted or fear persecution in their home country by their government or groups that their government supports or can not control, like gangs, tribal groups, religious groups, political groups or armed militias.
Persecution comes in many forms, and is done for many different reasons, but to be eligible for asylum the persecution must have been inflicted because of something about you that you cannot change or should not be forced to change like your race, nationality, ethnic group, religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation or social/tribal group.
Persecution for immigration purposes includes things like physical and or psychological torture, death threats, physical violence being put in prison, extreme social or economic discrimination, forced abortion or sterilization, forced female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM), sexual abuse, having your citizenship taken away, and much more.
If you feel that you have suffered in your country because of your race, nationality, ethnic group, religion, politics, gender sexual orientation or social group, and you fear that if you go back to your country, you or your family will be killed, tortured, put in jail, or otherwise harmed then you may be able to win asylum in the U.S.
Generally, you must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the U.S. but there are some important exceptions to this rule. For example some people who have lived in the U.S. for years suddenly need to apply for asylum because things have changed in their countries or even because of things they have done since coming to the U.S. which have put them in danger should they go back home. People who were not afraid to return to their country may become so because of things like a change of government or laws in their country. It is very important to apply for asylum as soon as possible after these changes or your asylum claim could be denied if you wait too long.
If you are successful in an application for asylum you will be able to live and work in the U.S., and a year after being approved for asylum you and certain members of your family can apply for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. (green card).
If you are afraid to return to your country for any reason you should contact one of our experienced immigration attorneys. We are very experienced in dealing with sensitive and very complicated asylum claims, call us now for a free consultation so we can discuss about your case and see if you or your family members are eligible for asylum.