2 grounds on which you can file for asylum in the United States

In the United States, there are two different methods an individual can pursue in applying for asylum. One technique is referred to as the affirmative process and the other is referred to as the defensive one.

In order for an individual to be eligible to participate in the affirmative process, he or she must already be physically in the United States. Decisions are entered in these types of asylum cases regardless of how the individual is reported to have arrived in the country or his or her present immigration status.

Those requesting asylum via this process are required to file for it within a year of last having arrived in the country. An asylum seeker may be able to have that time frame extended, though, by detailing the extenuating circumstances for the delay.

In the case of applicants seeking asylum under the affirmative process, they are able to remain living in the United States as their case is being reviewed. If the application is ultimately rejected, then the asylum seeker is given an opportunity to remain in the country until a point at which his or her case is heard in front of an immigration judge.

As for who qualifies to file for asylum under the defensive process, it includes anyone that is seeking to forestall his or her removal from the United States. Only those who are in the midst of a removal proceeding in front of an immigration court judge will qualify.

In defensive asylum cases, immigration judges hear arguments from both the individual and his or her attorney, as well as representatives with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office. It's after hearing both sides of the matter that the judge will render a decision as to whether the individual's asylum request should be granted.

If the request is denied, the individual will be ordered to be removed from the country. The judge's decision in this case is able to be appealed, either by the United States government or the asylum seeker him or herself.

Applying for and being granted asylum on the grounds that your civil rights have been violated or for some other reason is not easily done. A Nashville, Tennessee, immigration attorney can advise you as to the merits of your claim.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Obtaining Asylum in the United States," accessed June 23, 2017

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