In addition to individuals sponsored by future employers or by family members already living legally here, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also provides limited immigrant visas to people seeking protection from persecution in their country of origin. However, successfully declaring asylum in the United States can be a very complex process, especially if you have no past experience dealing with USCIS forms and procedures.
Assistance from a Kennewick asylum lawyer could be vital for anyone in Washington State looking to remain here as a non-citizen in order to avoid dangerous conditions abroad. Once retained, your experienced immigration attorney could ensure you understand all your options, what will be expected of you during the asylum application process, and what you can do to maximize your chances of a positive final outcome to your case.
Applying for Asylum in Kennewick
Current USCIS policy allows foreign nationals to apply for asylum after entering the United States and/or surrendering at a port of entry if they fear persecution in their country of origin based on any of the following:
- Their religious beliefs
- Their nationality
- Their racial or ethnic identity
- Their political opinions
- Their social group membership
Prospective applicants generally must start the application process within one year of arriving in the U.S., with very few exceptions to this deadline except under extraordinary or substantially changed circumstances since the applicant’s initial entry. Form I-589 is the main USCIS form around which asylum applications are built. While it is possible to include certain family members on this application—and if the petition is granted—have them obtain asylum status alongside the applicant, it is nearly impossible to do without help from a skilled Kennewick asylum attorney.
Importantly, a person does not need to be in the United States lawfully in order to apply for asylum, so long as they are not currently going through removal proceedings, and they file their application within the aforementioned time. Asylum may be eligible to individuals convicted of criminal activity, but certain offenses may disqualify an applicant from eligibility.
Work Authorization and Legal Permanent Resident Status
365 days after the initial filing of an asylum petition, the applicant may file Form I-765 to seek U.S. work authorization even if their application is still pending, provided they meet certain other criteria and have complied with all applicable USCIS procedures thus far. Anyone who is granted asylum in the U.S. automatically receives work authorization based on their status as an asylee.
A person granted asylum in the United States becomes eligible after one year to apply for Legal Permanent Resident status—in other words, they can apply for a Green Card—by filing Form I-485. Each individual family member who was granted asylum with the initial applicant must have their own separate Form I-485 packet, as an asylum lawyer in Kennewick could further explain.
A Compassionate Kennewick Asylum Attorney Could Help
Declaring asylum can be a vital means of protecting yourself and your loved ones from imminent harm in the country you originally traveled to the U.S. from. However, it is also a multi-step and detailed process with many opportunities for small errors, each of which could have a tremendous impact on your future and your family’s ability to stay here legally.
A Kennewick asylum lawyer could provide the help you might need to effectively pursue your case and work proactively with USCIS. Call today to learn more.