Asylum Lawyer

Asylum seekers often face numerous hurdles in their quest for safety and protection. At Santoskhoury, we understand the intricacies of asylum law and are committed to guiding you through every step of the process with expertise and compassion.

If you are looking for the best asylum lawyer in New York or any other state, we  are here to our services and help you understand more about seeking sanctuary including explaining important things like asylum attorney fees, the application process, and the different steps you have to take.

Asylum Lawyer

What is Asylum?

Before hiring a political asylum lawyer, you must have a keen understanding of asylum in the U.S. including what it means, if you are eligible, and the nuances of the process such as the fact that it is a discretionary process.

Asylum Defined by International and U.S. Immigration Law

Asylum is a form of protection granted to individuals fleeing persecution in their home country. Both international and U.S. immigration law recognize the right to seek asylum for those facing persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

The 1951 Refugee Convention and subsequent 1967 protocol were huge stepping stones in which the definition of asylum seekers and refugees were defined, together with legal protective measures that participants in the Convention should uphold. 

The U.S. was part of the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol and thus has a legal obligation to offer sanctuary to refugees. As the best asylum lawyer in USA we have a deep understanding of this convention and what it means for your application and the details outlined in the literature are often the basis of our work.

Eligibility for Asylum in the US

To be eligible for asylum in the United States, you must meet specific criteria outlined in immigration law. These criteria include demonstrating a well-founded fear of persecution and proving that you cannot return to your home country due to the fear of persecution.

The fear of persecution must fall under one of the five grounds:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Political Opinion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group

 

You must also be physically present at a US port of entry or within US territory before you complete and file Form I-589 Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.

Asylum Isn’t a Simple Yes or No Decision – It Includes Discretion

While the criteria for asylum are clear, the decision to grant it involves a significant level of discretion by immigration officials. This discretion underscores the importance of presenting a compelling case supported by strong evidence.

It’s essential to understand this and realize that simply meeting the criteria isn’t enough to obtain asylum. Eligibility is merely a legal requirement so you can submit Form I-589 – it doesn’t guarantee your approval. 

Approval is dedicated by USCIS officers and depends on the case you build, the evidence you submit, and how you perform during the asylum interview. If you are asking yourself, where are the best asylum lawyers near me, you should choose a firm that can help you with the discretionary aspect of US Immigration.

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What are the Benefits of Asylum?

Once you get that life-changing USCIS asylum approval letter you want to start benefiting from it, and an asylum approval offers many positives which we list below.

Asylum Benefits Overview

Obtaining asylum in the United States offers several benefits, including:

  • The right to live and work legally in the country.
  • Access to certain government benefits.
  • The opportunity to apply for permanent residency after one year.

 

Government benefits can include things like help with housing and education, medical coverage (such as Medicaid), food stamps, and social security income. These benefits are typically available for up to 7 years after being granted asylee status. 

After 1 year of asylee status, you can apply for LPR status (a Green Card) which leads to more rights, benefits, and security. Ultimately, 5 years after that, if you wish, you can apply to become a US Citizen via naturalization.

We Make Sure You Get Access to These Benefits

Our experienced team ensures that you understand and have access to all the benefits available for you as an asylum seeker. We work tirelessly to protect your rights and advocate for your best interests throughout the process – if you are due something from the government, we make sure you get it.

We are your Asylum Lawyer

We pride ourselves in giving our clients the best attorney experience possible

How Does the Asylum Application Process Work?

There are two types of asylum application in the US – affirmative, and defensive. Before you start looking for asylum attorneys near me, we explain the two types and their processes below.

Affirmative Asylum – A Step-by-Step Process

Affirmative asylum is the most common type and it is for seekers who are located in the US and not part of any removal proceedings.

The affirmative asylum process involves submitting an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and attending an interview to present your case. Our firm provides comprehensive support at every stage of this process, from preparing your application to representing you at your interview. A simple step-by-step process is listed below:

  1. Arrive in the US.
  2. File Form I-589 (Within 1 year of your arrival).
  3. Attend a biometrics appointment.
  4. Attend an asylum interview.
  5. Wait for your application decision.
  6. Receive decision.

Defensive Asylum – A Step-by-Step Process

If you are in removal proceedings, you may pursue defensive asylum as a form of relief. This process requires appearing before an immigration judge and presenting your case in court. You can only apply for this if the removal process is underway.

Our team has extensive experience representing clients in defensive asylum proceedings and will fight vigorously to secure the protection you deserve. The process either starts when your affirmative asylum application has been denied, or you have been detained trying to enter the US without proper documents and typically includes the following steps:

  1. Being involved in removal proceedings.
  2. Attend a Master Calendar Hearing.
  3. Attend a Merits Hearing.
  4. Make appeals if the initial defensive asylum application is denied.

We Have Extensive Experience Dealing With Both Application Types

Whether you are pursuing affirmative vs defensive asylum, our firm has the knowledge and experience to navigate the complexities of the asylum application process effectively. We tailor our approach to meet your specific needs and maximize your chances of success.

Asylum Lawyer

What are the Legal Strategies and Challenges for Asylum Seekers?

Unfortunately, there are many potential barriers you may face as an asylum seeker but we utilize a range of tried and tested legal strategies to help you overcome these challenges.

Typical Legal Strategies We Employ

Our firm employs a range of legal strategies to strengthen your case, including gathering compelling evidence, preparing persuasive arguments, and advocating tirelessly on your behalf. The strategy we use for you is tailored to account for your specific type of persecution, cultural sensitivities, and surrounding factors that could impact a decision.

Common Challenges You May Face as an Asylum Seeker

Asylum seekers often encounter numerous challenges during the application process, such as language barriers, lack of access to legal resources, a withdrawal of application, and the need to overcome credibility issues. We are here to help you overcome these challenges and navigate the asylum process with confidence.

Whatever the Challenge, We Help You Overcome it

No matter the obstacles you face, our dedicated team is committed to providing you with the support and guidance you need to overcome them. We are relentless in our pursuit of justice for our clients and will stand by your side every step of the way.

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Understanding Deadlines and Average Processing Times

While looking for asylum attorneys near me, you must understand that you play a key role in the application process, and this includes being prompt with your Form I-589 submission and meeting deadlines. It’s also wise to be aware of processing times and things like waiting for asylum interview date so you aren’t under any illusions of how long your application can take.

Deadlines You Must Meet for Your Application

It is crucial to adhere to the deadlines set forth by immigration authorities when filing your application. Failure to meet these deadlines could result in the denial of your application or other adverse consequences. Our firm ensures that your application is submitted accurately and on time, minimizing the risk of delays or complications.

The main deadline is that you must file Form I-589 within 1 year of arriving in the US. There are also deadlines for appealing denied decisions – but hopefully, you won’t have to deal with those.

Average Asylum Application Processing Times and Challenges

The processing times for asylum applications can vary significantly depending on various factors, including the complexity of your case and the current backlog of applications. Our experienced team closely monitors the progress of your case and takes proactive steps to expedite the process whenever possible.

On average it is believed that you may have to wait between 1-3 years to receive a decision on your application. The average processing time for applications by the USCIS is supposed to be 180 days, but the department currently faces a backlog which means many seekers are waiting much longer.

There are also state variations in processing times and approval rates. For example, New York historically has lower approval rates.

Our Assistance Ensures a Timely Application Submission

With our assistance, you can trust that your asylum application will be submitted promptly to the correct asylum office locations, thus maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome. We understand the importance of efficiency in the asylum process and are dedicated to ensuring that your case moves forward without unnecessary delays.

Can You Get Assistance at the U.S. Border as an Asylum Seeker?

A key part of obtaining asylee status in the US is being physically present in the country and this typically involves crossing a border which can raise additional challenges.

How we can Help You at the U.S Border

If you are seeking asylum at the U.S. border, our firm provides comprehensive legal assistance to help you navigate the process effectively. From preparing your initial claim to representing you in interviews and hearings, we are here to advocate for your rights and protect your interests.

Understanding expedited removal procedures

Asylum seekers at the U.S. border may face expedited removal procedures, which can pose significant challenges to their ability to seek protection. Our team is well-versed in these procedures and will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive a fair and just outcome.

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Understanding Detention and Your Legal Rights

Part of how to file asylum in USA is knowing that the process sometimes doesn’t run smoothly and you may run into issues such as detention. We are dedicated to protecting you and making sure this doesn’t happen and that starts with a simple explanation of detention and your rights below.

Detention Practices for Asylum Seekers

Detention of asylum seekers is a common practice in the United States, often resulting in prolonged periods of confinement and uncertainty. Our firm advocates for the rights of detained asylum seekers and fights to secure their release whenever possible. Some simple guidelines to remember when facing the potential of detention include:

  • If questioned by a USCIS officer, you can ask “Am I being detained”. If no, say, “If not, am I free to go?”. If yes, say, “Is there a reason I am being detained?”.
  • Give your name when asked, but you are not legally required to answer any questions relating to your background. Once you have given your name, say, “I have the right to remain silent and would like to consult a lawyer”.
  • If the officer says you are being detained, you have a right to ask for their badge number and name for your reference.

Your Legal Rights as an Asylum Seeker

As an asylum seeker, you have certain legal rights, including the right to due process, the right to be free from arbitrary detention, and the right to legal representation. Our team is committed to protecting your rights and ensuring that you receive fair and equitable treatment under the law.

Other important legal considerations include:

  • You have a constitutional right to know who you are speaking to, and what is happening to you.
  • You do not have to divulge personal information.
  • You have a right to have your privacy protected.
  • You do not have to allow the police or an immigration officer into your house unless they have a warrant.

 

If a police officer or USCIS officer calls your house, we advise not letting them in as this constitutes an invitation. Don’t open the house door but instead communicate through the door or window (closed) and if they want to pass you anything such as a warrant, only allow them to pass it under the door.

Contact Us for Expert Assistance With U.S. Immigration Processes

If you need expert assistance with your case, don’t hesitate to contact Santoskhoury. Our dedicated team of experienced asylum lawyers is here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the process successfully. 

We treat each case as a standalone project and aim to give you bespoke, compassionate help whenever you need it. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys using the link below or by visiting our contact page.

FAQs

Individuals who have suffered persecution or fear persecution in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group may be eligible to apply for asylum in the United States. You must also be physically located in the US to file your application.

Benefits of obtaining asylum in the United States include the right to live and work legally in the country, access to certain government benefits, and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after one year (Legal Permanent Residency, AKA a Green Card).

While it is possible to apply without a lawyer, having experienced legal representation significantly increases your chances of success and ensures that your rights are protected throughout the process. If you don’t want to look for the best asylum lawyer near me, you must be thorough in your research, be prompt with form submissions, and prepare diligently for the interview.

Common challenges faced by applicants during the application process include gathering sufficient evidence to support their claim, overcoming language barriers, and navigating complex legal procedures. Some may find it difficult to complete the forms and follow the I-589 defensive asylum instructions. There is also the stress and daunting nature of the interview, and understanding your approval letter.

Yes, there are deadlines for filing an asylum application, and failure to meet these deadlines can result in the denial of your application or other adverse consequences. It is essential to consult with an experienced US immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is submitted on time, but in short, you must file Form I-589 within a year of your arrival in the US.

Yes. There is no specific legislation that prevents you from getting married during your application process. An asylum lawyer New York can also help file Form I-730 which is a refugee/asylee relative petition that can allow your spouse and/or children to join you as derivatives on your application.

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