There are many facts that an experienced immigration and asylum attorney would want to know before he/she could advise you. For example, have you been persecuted in the past and why? Why do you think the government (or other groups) want to persecute you? The question of whether a person can apply for asylum turns on whether that person has a well-founded fear of persecution because of one or more of the following grounds:
- ethnic group,
- political activities or beliefs, or
- membership in a particular social group.
An asylum-seeker must apply for asylum within one year of first entering the US unless there have been changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances beyond the applicant’s control. However, even if a person isn’t eligible for asylum, he or she may be eligible for withholding of removal or relief under the UN Convention Against Torture. However, the standard of proof for these forms of relief are much higher.
It is highly recommended that asylum seekers engage an experienced immigration attorney or enlist the help of a high-profile immigration public service organization to get pro bono legal representation. According to TRAC at Syracuse University, 87% of unrepresented asylum seekers in immigration court are denied relief. See Example TRAC report.
If you wish to seek asylum in the U.S., feel free to contact me at (202) 630-0544 or here. Enlisting the help of a good immigration lawyer is highly recommended; this is not something a person should do on his own.