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Atlanta Immigration Lawyer > Blog > Refugee Asylum > How Are Refugees and Asylees Different?

How Are Refugees and Asylees Different?


It may seem like the terms refugee and asylee in the United States immigration system are the same. Both are groups that have chosen to flee their home country due to the imminent possibility of persecution. Yet, there is a distinct difference between these two terms. Primarily, they differ in where they are seeking the protection they need.

Suppose you are suffering from oppression and mistreatment in your country or you believe that you will be harmed due to your race, religion, political beliefs, nationality, or social group. In that case, you may be able to come to the United States. Despite this, the road to coming to the country with a successful case as either a refugee or asylee can be pretty complex. An Atlanta refugee and asylum attorney at Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc. can assist you with our plight and help you get the results you need.

Breaking Down What a Refugee and Asylee Is Under U.S. Immigration Law

You may be living in a very precarious situation in your home country and know that you have to make a move and get out while you can. Depending on your situation and how you proceed, you may be able to do this through either filing a refugee application or making your way through the U.S. asylum system.

It is important, though, to understand the difference between asylum and refugee status first. 

Refugee Status

When an individual outside of the United States and usually residing in some specific location or refugee camp is seeking the protection of the U.S., they would be considered a refugee. These individuals are those who are temporarily staying in a designated location because of a legitimate fear that they will face tyranny and be harmed back in their home country. As a result, they do not or cannot go back.

When filing for refugee status, there is much that must be done. Interviews and intense vetting of an individual will happen, including background checks. Potential refugees will also have a medical screening to obtain information on their health. Working within the U.S. immigration system and through the refugee process is intense. The complexities cannot be understated, which is why it is helpful to consult with an attorney if you are in fear for your life and safety and would like refuge in the U.S.


An individual that comes into the United States at a port of entry and then starts the process of seeking protections would be an asylum seeker. It is possible that a successful asylum application can be a means to one obtaining their green card and beginning the process of naturalization.

Speak with an Atlanta Refugee and Immigration Attorney Today

It can be very difficult to leave one’s home, but when there is a credible fear of persecution, it may be the only way to keep yourself and your family safe. The process is not easy, and you may face several legal challenges along the way. This is why having an experienced attorney on your side helping you through each step is critical.

For a consultation to discuss your needs and case, please call Shirazi Immigration Law, Inc. today at 404-523-3611. One of our Atlanta, GA, immigration lawyers is here for you and ready to help.



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