NYC REFUGEE & ASYLUM ATTORNEYS WITH 50 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
WHY HIRE SPAR & BERNSTEIN FOR REFUGEE & ASYLUM PROTECTION?
If you are seeking protection in the US as a victim of persecution in your home country, our asylum and refugee lawyers at Spar & Bernstein will help you navigate the process. We will help you file the extensive paperwork, prepare you for the interview, petition for your family members, and represent you in court if you apply for asylum to prevent deportation.
REFUGEE VS. ASYLEE
A refugee is a person who seeks protection while still outside of the United States.
An asylee is a person who has fled persecution in their home country and requests asylum while at the border or already in the United States.
To obtain status, both refugees and asylees must prove that they are eligible for protection under US law. Both refugee and asylum status are granted to people who have suffered persecution or fear persecution based on:
- Political opinion
- Membership in a particular social group
OBTAINING REFUGEE STATUS
To obtain refugee status, you must:
- Receive a referral to the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) to be considered as a refugee. (Referral criteria can be found on the USRAP Consultations and Worldwide Processing Priorities page.)
- Fill out your application, preferably with an experienced immigration lawyer.
- Attend an interview abroad conducted by a USCIS representative who will decide if you meet the refugee resettlement criteria.
If your refugee status is approved, you will receive:
- A medical exam
- A cultural orientation
- Help with your travel to the US
- A loan for your travel
Once you arrive in the US, you will be eligible for cash and medical assistance.
OBTAINING ASYLUM STATUS
There are two ways to obtain asylum in the United States: through an affirmative process or a defensive process.
In the affirmative asylum process, you:
- Must apply at the border or be physically present in the United States
- Are not placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge
- Submit Form I-589 to the USCIS to apply for asylum
- Attend a fingerprinting appointment at the nearest application support center (ASC)
- Attend an interview with a USCIS official
In the defensive asylum process, you:
- Have been placed in removal proceedings
- Request asylum as a defense against deportation from the US
- Appear before an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) for a court-like hearing
- Receive the immigration judge’s decision on your eligibility for asylum
REFUGEE RIGHTS IN THE US
The rights of a refugee include:
- The right to remain in the US for an indefinite period of time (or until the conditions in their home country are normal again)
- The right to a work permit
- The right to government support in the first months after arrival to the US
- The right to bring close family members after filing Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition
- The right to apply for a Green Card (permanent resident status) after one year in the US
- The right to apply for US citizenship, five years after applying for a Green Card
ASYLEES’ RIGHTS IN THE US
The rights of the asylees include:
- The right to remain in the US indefinitely (or until the conditions in their home country return to normal)
- The right to apply for a work permit by filing Form I-765 once asylum is approved
- The right to petition for family members to join them by filing Form I-730
- The right to apply for a Green Card (permanent resident status) one year after receiving asylum status
- The right to apply for citizenship five years after the Green Card application
- The right to access social services and assistance