How to Know If You are Eligible for Refugee or Asylum Status

The Difference Between a Refugee and Asylum Status

How to Know If You are Eligible for Refugee or Asylum Status

If you are experiencing persecution in your home country, or perhaps you have a reasonable fear that a particular group of people could persecute you, you have options. Instead of staying in that hostile environment, you can seek refugee or asylum protection from the US government.

Either way, you need to consult with an immigration attorney for legal guidance on what you need to qualify for asylum or refugee status in this country because not everyone is eligible for these kinds of protections.

Whether or not you are eligible for refugee or asylum status is a question you need to discuss with an immigration experienced attorney as soon as you can to seek the protection you need to live a comfortable and happy life.

‍The Difference Between a Refugee and Asylum Status

Generally, the difference between a refugee and an asylee depends on where you currently are when making your application. If you are outside the borders of our country, you must file your application for refugee protection through the UNHCR (U.N High Commission for Refugees).

However, if you are already at our country's borders or entry point (including seaports, airports, and the like), you should apply for asylum protection by filing Form I-589. Although our government provides you with these protections, the criteria for securing these protections are more strict than you could ever imagine.

You must be familiar with the required legal grounds for refugee or asylum status and prepare extensive materials to show that you are the right candidate for these kinds of protections. To increase your chances of qualifying for asylum or refugee status, you cannot undermine the need to have an attorney on your side.

An experienced attorney will know appropriate forms to file and the type of evidence you need to attach to increase your chances of qualifying for asylum or refugee protection.

How To Tell If Are Eligible For Refugee Or Asylum Status

If you are eligible to become an asylee or refugee in this country, you will enjoy several privileges, including:

  • You will be able to apply for a job and work to earn your money
  • You can apply for permanent residency status or green card within one (1) year of entering the country as an asylee or refugee

Unfortunately, there are strict criteria and legal requirements for obtaining refugee or asylum status to live in this country indefinitely. When filing a claim to become a refugee or asylee, you must provide evidence to show that:

You are Going Through Persecution in Your Home Country or Have Well-Grounded Fear of Persecution in the Future

To persecute typically means to injure, oppress, punish, harass or cause another person to experience psychological or physical pain. Although the immigration statute does not mention specific examples of the types of persecution that could make you eligible for refugee or asylum protection, the following acts could qualify as persecution in court:

  • Denial of fundamental human freedoms or rights
  • Inappropriate imprisonment
  • Torture
  • Violence

Typically, the immigration judge could grant you a refugee or asylum protection if your home country has:

  • Committed genocide against a particular race
  • Fired weapons at protestors
  • Tortured or imprisoned supposed undesirables or political dissidents
  • Excluded members or representatives of a particular religion from the political process

Also, if you have a well-grounded fear of being a victim of a program that involves "coercive population control," you could be eligible for asylum or refugee status. This type of persecution would be reasonable to convince the immigration judge that you are the right candidate for asylum or refugee status.

In some cases, your home country's government could stand by as another person commits acts of persecution towards you if they are unable or unwilling to exercise control. With appropriate evidence to back up your arguments, this too could count as persecution to strengthen your claim for refugee or asylum status.

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