Political Asylum

Experienced Tennessee Immigration Lawyer Helping Clients to Seek Political Asylum in the U.S.

There are many different ways in which immigrants from other countries can come to the United States legally, and asylum is one route. It is important to understand that political asylum is different from many other ways of legally residing in the United States. To be eligible for political asylum, you must be seeking protection from actual persecution or fear of persecution in your country of origin.

Our dedicated immigrant rights lawyers in Tennessee are here to help with your political asylum case. At Ozment Law, PLC, we can assist you at every stage of the process to give you the best chance of obtaining asylum and working toward permanent residency.

What is Political Asylum?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that political asylum is one pathway into the United States for individuals from other countries who have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution based on one of the following characteristics:

For example, a person might seek political asylum in the United States because she is a Muslim, and Muslims are being targeted in her home country. Or, a person might seek political asylum here because she holds political views that are in opposition to the current government in her country, and individuals with her political views have been persecuted.

How Do I Apply for Asylum?

To apply for political asylum in the United States, you must file a Form I-589, which is an “Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.” You may file for asylum even if you are not in immigration court. You must file this form within one year from the date you arrived in the United States. You do not have to pay a fee. If you have a spouse or children in the United States, you can include them on the application. To prevail, the applicant must prove that he or she has a “well-founded fear” of persecution. Ozment Law, PLC can help prepare your asylum application so that it has the best chances for success, including retaining expert witnesses to help corroborate your claim, if necessary.

Can I Work in the United States If I Have Asylum?

You may be able to work in the United States once you have asylum, but you cannot apply for both asylum and employment authorization at the same time. Instead, you must apply for asylum first, and then the following must be true in order to apply for employment authorization:

Once an application for asylum is granted, you may begin working in the United States immediately. You may obtain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs), but you are not required to do so.

If I Seek Political Asylum, Can I File for a Green Card?

If you are granted political asylum, you become an “asylee.” Under U.S. law, an asylee can apply for a green card (also known as permanent residency) as soon as she has been an asylee for at least one year.

What if I Fear Returning to My Home Country, But It Has Been More than One Year Since I Entered the United States?

If you have been in the country for more than one year, there may be ways that you can still file for asylum even after the one-year deadline. You should consult an immigration lawyer with asylum experience to see if you can still file for asylum.

Even if you do not qualify for asylum, U.S. immigration law has other forms of relief available for people who will be persecuted in their country of origin:

Contact a Tennessee Immigration Lawyer Today to Learn More About Political Asylum

If you need help filing for political asylum in the United States, a compassionate Tennessee immigration attorney can help with your case. Contact Ozment Law, PLC for more information about our commitment to immigrant rights and to learn about how we can assist you.