Refugee status or Asylum are special legal protections available to people who have left their home country for their own safety and are afraid to return.
Under United States law, a refugee is someone who:
- Is located outside of the United States
- Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
- Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
- Is not firmly resettled in another country
- Is admissible to the United States
A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Difference between asylum and refugee status under U.S. immigration laws:
People outside of the United States must apply for refugee status. People who have already made it to the United States border or the interior (perhaps by using a visa or by entering illegally) can apply for asylum status.
Once granted, both statuses allow you to stay in the United States indefinitely. Asylees and refugees are given permission to work and are allowed to apply for a green card (within one year of either entering the United States as a refugee or being approved for asylum).
Not everyone qualifies for asylum or refugee status. You must meet some strict requirements, as described in this article. In particular, you must show two things:
- You are unable or unwilling to return to your home country because you have been persecuted there in the past or have a well-founded fear that you will be persecuted if you go back.
- The reason you have been (or will be) persecuted is connected to one of five things: your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or your political opinion.
If you are admitted as a refugee, you must apply for a green card one year after coming to the United States. To apply for permanent residency, file the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status. There is no fee for refugees to file the Form I-485. In addition, refugees do not have to pay for fingerprinting/biometrics fees.
How we can help you:
At the Law Office of Moona Shakil, an experienced senior attorney would help preparing your case for Asylee or Refugee Status. Our immigration attorney would consult with you to discuss your options. Our mission is to provide prompt, high quality legal services to benefit the lives of our clients. We handle almost all types of immigration visas, and our attorneys understand that communication is a key to success. You need confidence that your lawyer understands your problem and is working with you to achieve results. Call us to find out how we provide superior service to our clients.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as legal advice. The use of the information on this website creates no attorney client relationship between the user and the Law Office of Moona Shakil, PLLC or its attorneys. There is no substitute for a face to face consultation with a lawyer. If you have legal questions, you must contact an experienced attorney immediately.