Gainesville Refugee & Asylum Lawyer
Most news stories about refugees focus on people who have recently been displaced from their countries of origin because of a crisis such as a war or natural disaster, but in the context of immigration law, you do not have to have been affected by a newly emergent threat to be eligible to apply for asylum status. The United States considers people eligible to apply for asylum status if they are experiencing persecution because of the ethnic or cultural group into which they were born or because of their religious or political beliefs. If you want to seek asylum in the United States, whether you are already in the U.S. or hoping to travel here, it will be easier for you to receive asylum status and begin your path to legal permanent residency, or even U.S. citizenship, if you work with the Gainesville refugee & asylum lawyers at Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc.
What Makes a Person Eligible for Asylum Status?
Form I-589 is the Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. If USCIS approves your application, then you cannot be deported from the United States. The United States grants asylum to people who are experiencing persecution, which means that they are in danger of death, torture, or physical violence because of their race, ethnic background, social or cultural group, religious affiliation and beliefs, or political views. Poverty, in the absence of persecution, does not make a person eligible for asylum, although economic hardship is often a consequence of persecution. Generally difficult economic conditions in your country do not make you eligible for asylum.
What Is the Difference Between a Refugee and an Asylum Seeker?
People who file form I-589 or who intend to file it are known as refugees or asylum seekers. The difference is that a refugee has not yet entered the U.S., whereas an asylum seeker is already present in the U.S., such as on a visitor visa. You can file for asylum when you arrive or when the Department of Homeland Security begins proceedings to remove you from the U.S., such as because you have overstayed your visa.
The United States can only admit a certain number of refugees per year. The United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) notifies you when you may travel to the U.S. and enter the country with refugee status. Most refugees have been referred to USRAP through a U.S. Embassy, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or other organizations dedicated to assisting refugees.
How Can You Get a Green Card After Getting Asylum?
When you enter the United States as a refugee, you have one year to apply for adjustment of status in order to get a permanent resident card (green card). Four years after your green card is issued, you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Refugee and Asylum Lawyers in Gainesville, Georgia
Working with an immigration lawyer makes the process of applying for asylum easier and less stressful. Contact Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc. at our offices in Atlanta, Georgia to represent you in your refugee or asylum case.