Qualifying for Asylum or Refugee Status in the United States

Alexander Borell

Immigrants commonly come to the United States with the hope of being granted either refugee or asylum status. Asylum and refugee status are protections for people who have fled their home country for their own safety and are not able to return. If a person is granted either of these protections, he or she will be allowed to live and work in the US indefinitely and will be able to apply for a green card.

However, not everyone is eligible to receive asylum or refugee status. First, they must be able to satisfy a few strict requirements.

Difference Between Asylum and Refugee Status

Before getting into the requirements to become a refugee or asylee, you should understand the difference between the two. Thankfully, they are fairly simple.

People who are living in a country outside of the United States must apply for refugee status, while people who have already made it to the US can apply for asylum status. Aside from these differences, asylum and refugee status both offer the same benefits as they relate to living in the US.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for refugee or asylum status, you must be able to demonstrate that you are unable to return to your home country because you have been persecuted or have reason to believe you will be persecuted, and that that persecution is related to your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or group affiliation.

Persecution can include threats, harassment, violence, denial of human rights, false imprisonment, torture, and many other circumstances. These acts can be carried out by a foreign government, or could be the result of a foreign government standing by as another group commits these acts. In either case, you could be eligible for asylum or refugee status.

Proving Your Claims

In order to be granted asylum or refugee status, you must be able to prove that you have been persecuted based on the grounds listed above. Your case could include using witnesses, your own statements, and news stories which describe the situation in your home country. 

To ensure that your claim is convincing and as strong as possible, it may be wise to consider consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer to help construct your case. We offer free immigration consultations at our offices in Miami Lakes, West Palm Beach, Orlando and Tampa. 

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