Who Can Apply For Asylum and What Is Involved?

Under U.S. law, people who flee their countries because they fear persecution can apply for asylum, withholding of removal or relief under the convention against torture when the persecution is a result of the person’s:

– Race
– Religion
– Nationality
– Membership in a particular social group
– Political opinion

Asylum: You may be eligible for asylum if you have suffered past persecution or fear future persecution in your home country. You must apply for asylum within one (1) year of arriving in the U.S. A grant of asylum will allow you to apply for legal permanent residency in the U.S.

Withholding of Removal: You may be eligible for withholding of removal, even if you did not file for asylum within one (1) year of arriving in the U.S., if your life or freedom was or will be threatened in your home country on account of the one of the five (5) grounds mentioned above. A grant of withholding of removal does not allow you to apply for legal permanent residency, but does not permit ICE to deport you.

Convention Against Torture (CAT): You may be eligible under CAT if you can show that it is more than likely that you would be tortured by the government, or by people working for or with the consent of the government, if you are returned to a particular country. Like withholding of removal, you may apply for CAT if you did not apply for asylum within one (1) year of arriving in the U.S., you are not eligible to apply for legal permanent residency, and ICE cannot deport you.

The Colorado attorneys at Hernandez & Associates, P.C., can assist you with asylum issues. Call our Denver office to speak with a lawyer at 303-536-5134. You can also reach us via email.


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