Applying for Asylum in the U.S.
When determining whether or not you are eligible for asylum, there are a lot of things that come into play. First, there is a difference between asylum and refugee status. Applying for asylum means that you are already in the country, whether through legal or illegal means does not really matter at this point, and you fear persecution of you return. If you’re applying to be a refugee, you have not yet left your home country, and you fear persecution if you do not leave. One aspect of the law that is very strict is that you have to fear persecution for at least one of five reasons, they include, your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or your membership in a particular social group. Persecution is defined as harassment, punishment, injury, oppression, or other physical or psychological harm. You must be able to prove that you fear persecution for one of these reasons, otherwise you will not be eligible for asylum or refugee status.
Examples of persecution are things like murder, torture, unjust imprisonment, genocide, and even forced abortion or sterilization. If a foreign government is committing these acts against its people, or if they are standing by and not interfering while other groups are committing these acts, its citizens could potentially be eligible for asylum or refugee status in the US.
While things like race, religion, and nationality are self-explanatory, political opinion and membership and social group are not. Being persecuted base on your political opinion means that you spoke out against the government, or you joined an anti-government organization, and because of your opposition, you could face some sort of persecution. As for membership to a social group, things get a little bit more difficult. A social group is kind of an umbrella, and it includes groups like homosexuals, transgender people, women in some situations, and even tribes or ethnic groups, among other things.
People that are seeking asylum could potentially be in the US illegally for a short amount of time, and if this is the case, US Immigration Bonds and Insurance Services can help. If you have any questions regarding immigration, including asylum and refuge, contact our immigration bail bond specialist.