Immigration can be a difficult legal process. Often times, it is crucial to have proper legal counsel to receive legal advice and to facilitate proper legal status in the United States. Each year, people come to the United States seeking protection because they have been persecuted or fear persecution due to: race, religious beliefs, nationality, political opinion, or belonging to a social group.
Asylum. You can only apply for Asylum if you are physically located in the United States.
If you receive Asylum status, you will be allowed to remain in the United States and subsequently apply for a permanent residence permit (Green Card). To apply for asylum, you must file Form I-589 (Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal) within one yearof your arrival in the United States. If there is a good reason, you can apply for asylum after one year, but then you will not be able to get a work permit until you receive asylum status.
To apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) based on your category (c)(8) asylum application, you may file Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) 150 days after your asylum application was filled. You are not eligible for a work permit until your case is delayed due to your fault (failure to show up for fingerprints or asking time to find a lawyer).
There are two ways to apply for asylum in the US:
- The affirmative asylum process is for people who are not in the process of removal (those who were admitted to the United States on a visa). The affirmative process is reviewed by the USCIS immigration service. If the USCIS asylum officer does not grant the asylum application, the applicant is directed to removal proceedings, where s/he can reopen the asylum request through the defense process and appear before an immigration judge.
- The defensive asylum process is intended for persons in the removal proceeding (those who have applied for asylum at the border). The defensive process is reviewed by the Immigration Court (EOIR), which additionally requires motions and written pleadings.
If you have been granted asylum and your family members were not included in your case, you may request to bring of your spouse and children to the United States by completing form I-730 (Petition for Refugee/Asylum Relative). To include your child in your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
You must file a petition within two years of being granted asylum unless there are humanitarian reasons to justify a longer period.
Release from Immigration Jail. Every day, thousands of people declare their fear of returning to their country of citizenship and apply for asylum in the United States (whether at the border or at the airport). However, not all asylum seekers are allowed into the US on the basis of a humanitarian parole. Many people get arrested and end up in the immigration detention center.
If in conversation with the border officer (CBP), the applicant confirmed his fear of return and expressed his intention to apply for asylum in the United States, the next step will be to pass Credible Fear Interview. This interview is no longer conducted by the border officer, but by a USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer an asylum officer. If the asylum officer issues a negative decision (does not believe the applicant), then the applicant will be awaiting immigration court in the detention center.
If the applicant has a sponsor with a US residence, we can help with a request to release from an immigration detention on the basis of a humanitarian password or a bond.
If the applicant has a trial in the immigration detention center, we can act on his behalf, regardless of which state he is being held in. Immigration law operates at the federal level, so we are not limited to a court in one state.
Lawsuits. It’s not uncommon for the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) to make mistakes while processing asylum applicants. As a result, the Immigration Prosecutor (OPLA) may not correctly inform the Immigration Court (EOIR), or even lose the case against the asylum applicant.
Below are the most popular motions:
- If you have been assigned to a court in a city where you don’’t live, we can file Motion to Change Venue.
- If your family member’s case has been separated from your case we can file Motion to Consolidate your cases, even if your child is over 21, but not yet married.
- If you don’t show up for your hearing, we can request that your case be returned to the Immigration Court (Motion to Reopen in Absentia Order).
- Appeal. In the event that the asylum seeker is not happy with the negative decision of the immigration judge, we can help to appeal the decision within 30 days, even if the asylum seeker is in immigration jail.
- Family Immigration. US citizens and people with a permanent residence permit (Green Card) can request from the immigration service (USCIS) to grant their relatives a residence permit in the United States. It does not matter if the relative is in the United States or not. We can help get a visa (for those who are abroad) or status (for those who are already in the US).
- Employment-Based Green Cards. Similar to family immigration, US companies can ask Immigration Service (USCIS) to grant their employees a US residence permit. It is important that the employee does not stay in the United States without a visa status, and that the company does not belong to the employee.