Thousands of foreigners seek asylum in the U.S each year. Basically, individuals who are already residing in the United States and are unwilling or unable to return to their home countries for fear of persecution based on their sexual orientation, race, religion or political opinion may apply for asylum.
While the main purpose of asylum is to offer protection for individuals who are fleeing persecution in their countries, it is important to understand that the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews and makes its decision on a case-by-case basis.
Eligibility for asylum
To meet the general threshold for asylum, you must prove that your fear of persecution can be substantiated. In other words, your asylum request will be denied if the fear is mere speculation. You must prove that you are likely to face persecution should you return to your home country.
The second component of the asylum process assumes that the applicant is already residing in the United States. You cannot seek asylum if you are not within the U.S or at the port of entry, like an airport.
Reasons for refusal
That being said, there are instances when the USCIS will automatically turn down your quest for asylum. These include:
- You have been accused of persecuting others: This is pretty straightforward. If you were, or are still, associated with a grouping that is considered a terrorist organization under U.S law or a group that persecuted innocent civilians like a rebel movement, then your asylum request will be denied.
- You have a criminal background: A conviction for an aggravated felony and certain other offenses will result in a denial of asylum. This is true whether your crime was in your home country, the United States or elsewhere.
The asylum program allows qualified individuals fleeing persecution from the countries to seek refuge in the U.S. Experienced legal guidance can increase your chances of success.