There are three asylum seeking scenarios
The Difference Between an Asylee and a Refugee
The main difference between an Asylee and a Refugee is whether the person is inside or outside the U.S. The legal definition of a Refugee is, “[a]ny person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well founded fear of persecution, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” In other words, provided all criteria are met, there are 5 grounds on which an Asylee must base their application for Asylum: (1) Race (2) Religion (3) Nationality (4) Membership in a particular social group, and (5) Political Opinion. The legal definition of an Asylee is anyone who fits within the definition of a Refugee, plus they are already in the U.S. or seeking entry at a U.S. border.
Membership in a Particular Social Group
The “membership in a particular social group” ground for Asylum requires further clarification as there is no specific list of social groups anywhere in Asylum Law. Successful Asylum cases that have traveled through the U.S. Court system provide guidance on the meaning of membership in a particular social group. Note that it is the membership in a group which subjects Asylees to persecution – it is not anything specific or particular about the individual Asylee. The following types of groups have been successful in Asylum cases* (however, membership in any one of these groups is no guarantee of success and this list is not complete, but rather provides some idea of the definition of social groups for Asylum purposes):
Special thanks to the Source of this list:U.C. Hastings Law Professor Karen Musalo, for The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association Hot Topics in Asylum, Particular Social Group Analysis.
At Hyder Law, we will provide you with an extensive Asylum consultation to determine whether you are eligible to apply on any of the 5 grounds. For those Asylum seekers who are persecuted on the basis of membership in a particular group, a Hyder Lawyer will listen closely and sensitively to your personal history to provide you with expert Asylum services.
The Affirmative Asylum Process
For Asylum seekers presently in the U.S., a formal application must be made to USCIS. This application is the I-589, and must be made within the first year of arrival to the U.S. There are exceptions to the one year deadline. If you are seeking Asylum and have been present in the U.S. for more than a year, a Hyder Lawyer will discuss with you during your consultation whether you qualify for one of the exceptions. If you have been denied Asylum in the Affirmative process, you may contact a Hyder Lawyer for a comprehensive consultation on your rights to an appeal. The appeals process can be long, however, you will usually be permitted to remain in the U.S. until you have exhausted all of your appeal rights. For information on the Affirmative Asylum process, please visit the official USCIS website:
The Defensive Asylum Process
Once a person is placed in Removal Proceedings (meaning, Deportation) Asylum can be a defense against the removal from the U.S. This proceeding will look like any court proceeding with a judge, the alien and his/her lawyer (if a lawyer is retained), and a lawyer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
If the Asylum defense is unsuccessful, the alien can appeal the judge’s decision. Usually, the alien can remain in the U.S. during the appeal process. If you are in Removal Proceedings and have a fear of being persecuted if you return to your country, a Hyder Lawyer can represent you during your Removal Proceedings and raise the Asylum defense on your behalf.
For more information on the Defensive Asylum process, please visit the official USCIS website:
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