Asylum is the legal process that allows people from outside the United States who are fleeing persecution or violence in their home countries to seek protection from and move to the United States. In California, as well as any other state, the process of seeking asylum can be complex and challenging but it is possible to do it and much easier with the assistance of an attorney.
How do I seek asylum?
First, you or your attorney must file an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This application must include information that explains the reasons for the asylum request, along with any supporting evidence you may have available, such as medical records or witness statements.
What happens after I file an application for asylum with USCIS?
After filing your application, USCIS will ask you to attend an interview with an asylum officer, a representative of the United States who will ask you questions about your background and why you are seeking asylum.
You must be fully honest with the asylum officer to have the best chance of approval of your asylum application.
It is also critical to be prepared for the interview with the asylum officer, bring as much information and evidence as you can and ensure that you have written down everything important so you can remember in case you become nervous during the interview, which is normal.
For this reason, ensure you are prepared by bringing notes and writing down your reasons for seeking asylum and everything you want to say to the asylum officer.
What happens after the interview?
After your interview with the asylum officer, they will decide whether to approve or deny your application. If the asylum officer approves your application for asylum, they will refer your case to an immigration judge for further review. If the asylum officer denies your application for asylum, you will have an opportunity to appeal the decision.
The asylum application process is lengthy and unpredictable but there is information on the USCIS’s website to guide you, and attorneys who can explain things to you and personally act on your behalf, so you have the best chance of approval of your application for asylum.