Under certain terms and conditions, people in the United States illegally may seek asylum. Conditions for granting permanent asylum to remain in the U.S. are specific and require the applicant to demonstrate persecution if he or she returns to his or her country of origin. According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), reasons for persecution can include:
- Race or ethnicity
- Nationality or membership in a social group
- Political party
In addition, certain types of asylum may be granted to immigrants who have suffered as victims of domestic violence while living in the U.S.
Historically, persecution has been defined as a “threat to life or freedom” based on the reasons stated above. The persecution in question must have been perpetrated by either the government or some other kind of political group or organization within the country in which persecution is taking place. Contrary to popular belief, persecution does not necessarily have to be physical in nature, but can also be emotional.
It should be important to note that the applicant has the burden of proof or the responsibility of proving the existence of persecution. The applicant can provide proof through a sworn testimony under oath, corroborative testimony, documentary evidence, and any other material that would support his or her application. The process is very evidence demanding and there is no guarantee that your application will be accepted even if you meet all the listed criteria. This is why it is important to present a well-organized case, which can be done much more efficiently with a professional as your ally. In certain circumstances, testimony alone, if deemed credible, can serve as sufficient evidence.
We would also like to mention that we are aware that recent political developments in the past few years have made the application process discouraging to some. We are also aware of the concerns you may have about potential obstacles you may encounter along the way, whether real or perceived. However, you should not let your fears about the process deter you from seeking out security for you and your family members. An experienced professional, like our many immigration attorneys working at our Fremont and San Francisco offices, can give the most up to date guidance and advice.
How long the process will take depends on your current location. Contact Us. We Serve Clients Throughout the Bay Area, regardless of background. Our proficiency in immigration law and creativity will allow us to craft a solid case on your behalf.
Attorney Derek Lim is recognized as one of the pre-eminent immigration lawyers in the Bay Area, with a particular focus on asylum seekers from countries in Asia and Southeast Asia. If you are an illegal immigrant or your legal status is about to expire and you require asylum, call the Fremont, California, Law Offices of Derek Lim at 510-818-0898 or contact us online.
Mr. Lim is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Laotian and Thai. Other language interpreters are available. Our experienced immigration lawyers servicing our Fremont and San Francisco offices will offer you and your family an understanding and comprehensive exploration of your options.