Asylum Immigration Lawyers in Blacksburg, Virginia
Foreign nationals in Virginia who are afraid of persecution in their home country may be granted refuge by the United States government. Those seeking asylum in the United States to flee persecution in their native country may be granted refugee status in the United States. However, to be awarded this protection, proper processes for asylum requests must be followed.
Asylees can live and work legally in the United States and seek permanent residency after meeting certain residency conditions. Asylum immigration lawyers in Virginia may be able to help you with the procedure. An experienced immigration lawyer who is familiar with the processes can assist you in protecting your rights and advocating on your side while you work toward your objectives.
What is an Asylum or Refugee Status?
Asylum and refugee status are legal protections provided to those who have fled their native country for their safety and are scared to return to any part of it.
If you can move and live securely in your native country, you will not be able to show that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in the United States, and you will not be given asylum.
What is the difference between asylum and refugee status under immigration law in the United States? That is, who should apply for asylum and who should apply for refugee status? It’s simply a matter of being in the right place at the right time to apply.
Outside of the United States, people must apply for refugee status through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. (They cannot specify that they’d like to go to the U.S. or any particular country.)
The President of the United States sets an annual cap on total approvals. This number fell to new lows (15,000 each year), but the Biden administration boosted it to 125,000 for 2022.
In principle, anyone who has already made it to the U.S. border or interior (possibly with the use of a visa or by entering illegally) might ask for asylum. Due to ever-changing regulations like “Wait in Mexico,” this got considerably more difficult under the Trump administration.
Following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak, the Trump administration extended a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Order allowing border agents to deport anyone who arrived without a valid entry visa or permission, without first conducting interviews to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution. This order has not been removed by the Biden Harris Administration thus yet.
Both refugee and asylee statuses allow a person to reside in the United States permanently if approved. Asylees and refugees are permitted to work and may apply for a green card within one year of arriving in the United States as refugees or being granted asylum.
What Are the Basic Grounds for Asylum or Refugee Status?
It’s not enough to be terrified of returning to your native country. You must prove that you fulfill the criteria of a refugee to be eligible for asylum or refugee status under U.S. law.
In a nutshell, this means demonstrating that you have either been a victim of persecution in the past or that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in the future. You must establish that you were persecuted in your home country or last country of residency if you were persecuted in the past.
At least one of the following five grounds must have been used to persecute you:
- political opinion
- membership in a particular social group
One of the most challenging components of successfully qualifying for asylee or refugee status is proving the link between the persecution and one of these five reasons—mainly because you must establish that one of the five grounds was or would be a “central reason” for your persecution.
Is there a place for “gender” in any of these five grounds? It is a hotly debated legal topic. People have been granted refuge after being subjected to cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, forced marriage, domestic abuse, and more, notably when the police and government failed to protect the victims or punish the offenders.
How to Apply for a Refugee Status?
It would be best to refer you to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee to petition for refugee status.
People identified and referred to USRAP by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a U.S. embassy, or a certified nonprofit group receives first attention. The second priority is groups defined by the U.S. refugee program as specific humanitarian concerns. The third priority is a family reunion, which involves granting refugee status to spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of people who were lawfully