People who hope to enter the United States come to the country for many different reasons. Oftentimes, their primary motive is a better future for themselves or their family. People may enter the country to reunite with family members or pursue a great job.
Other times, people come to the United States to flee persecution. The United States has long held itself out to be a bastion of hope for those who are suffering in tumultuous political environments. Every year, thousands of people make plans to travel to the United States specifically to protect themselves from political or religious persecution.
However, not everyone who hopes to apply for asylum actually qualifies for protection under this program. Who can seek asylum in the United States?
Those with a credible or reasonable fear for their safety
People may apply for asylum based on a reasonable fear of persecution based on race, political opinion, religion, nationality or membership in a particular social group. Only those who have a reasonable and credible fear for their safety should they return to their country of origin can typically qualify for asylum.
Those already in or entering the country
The standard procedure for pursuing asylum involves requesting it at a port of entry. Immigrants may travel north through Central America and Mexico to apply for asylum at the southern border that the United States shares with Texas, for example. In some cases, those who have already entered the country can also apply for asylum.
They may become eligible when the political situation changes in their country during their stay in the United States. They may also be able to apply for asylum based on certain special circumstances, such as receiving bad advice from a lawyer.
Asylum requests are difficult to navigate alone
Those fleeing another country cannot gamble on the success of their immigration proceedings. Many people applying for asylum will struggle with the paperwork and also with advocating for themselves while dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
It can be difficult to understand the requirements for asylum and the expected procedure during hearings and meetings. Immigrants often require support from legal professionals as they attempt to navigate the asylum process and then establish themselves in the United States. Learning more about the requirements can make a major difference for those who believe they may qualify for political asylum.