What Does Asylum Mean for Immigrants?
At Ozment Law, PLC, our Nashville immigration attorneys provide strong, compassionate legal representation to those seeking asylum in the United States.
Immigrating to the United States is often a lifelong dream for people from other countries. However, while some seek an education, better jobs, or reunification with family members, others face more urgent and compelling needs in coming to the United States. At Ozment Law, our Nashville immigration attorneys defend the rights of asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries. We work with you, defending your rights and protecting you in immigration proceedings, to help increase the chances of having your application approved.
Legal Guidance for Those Seeking Asylum
According to the latest statistics from the Migration Policy Institute, more than 25,000 refugees fleeing conditions in their own nations seek asylum each year, while nearly 10,000 people currently in the U.S. use the asylum process as a way to avoid deportation.
In a separate category from standard family- or business-based immigration laws, asylum is designed to protect those who have a reasonable fear of persecution if they return to their birth country. In order to be granted asylum, this persecution must be based on one of the following:
- Your race, ethnicity, or nationality;
- Your religious beliefs and affiliations;
- Your political party or your opinion;
- Your membership in a particular social group, such as your gender or being part of the LGBT community.
Countries with the largest numbers of asylum seekers in the U.S. include China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Middle Eastern nations, including Syria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iraq, and Iran. If you face persecution and are from these or other areas, it is important to have an experienced attorney familiar with the immigration service, its laws and processes working on your behalf.
The Asylum Process
In addition to the fear of persecution, one of the main differences between typical immigration benefits and asylum is that you must physically be in the United States to apply. Under U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines, there are two types of asylum:
- Affirmative Asylum Processing: Regardless of how you got here, if you are currently residing in or visiting the U.S. you have up to one year after your arrival to file an asylum application, though there are exceptions to the one-year filing requirement even if you have not filed within one year of entering the United States.
- Defensive Asylum Processing: You may request asylum as a defense if you are currently facing removal proceedings, either as the result of being apprehended in the country without the proper documents or due to being stopped at the border.
Once your asylum application is filed, USCIS guidelines state that an interview should be scheduled within 45 days, with a decision made within 180 days of filing. Unfortunately, delays and denials are common, which is why it is important to have an experienced Nashville asylum attorney on your side.
Contact Our Nashville Asylum and Immigration Attorneys Today
When dealing with the U.S. immigration services, particularly when seeking asylum, you need someone guiding you and acting as a strong legal advocate on your behalf. To request a consultation to see how Ozment Law, PLC can help, call or contact our Nashville asylum attorneys online today.