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Asylum Lawyer in Tampa

Helping Clients with the Complex Nature of United States Immigration Law

If awarded asylum, immigrants will have the right to live in the United States, obtain work authorization, get a green card, and be allowed to seek naturalization one day. Not everyone qualifies for asylum under US immigration law, though. In some cases, hopeful immigrants may be better off applying for various immigration visas instead. If, however, you do qualify for asylum in the United States, it is recommended that you seek an attorney with extensive experience in this practice area.

What is an Asylum Seeker?

Asylum seekers are immigrants and their families who have fled their home countries due to violence, war, famine, abuses of human rights, fear of persecution, and other dangerous or life-threatening conditions. An asylum seeker can gain protection from their home country by applying for asylum in another country.

When a hopeful asylee enters the United States, they are not automatically granted legal status. Instead, they must reside in the US while awaiting approval for their application for asylum status. Asylum seekers whose applications are denied or whose cases no longer qualify for legal protection may face the threat of deportation.

Asylum is not the only method of immigration for individuals fleeing their home countries. It may be possible for a potential immigrant to file for an immigration visa that gets them out of their country of origin. To learn more, please schedule your free case evaluation today.

Which Immigrants Might Potentially Qualify for Asylum?

If you are fleeing your home country because you are facing persecution, threats of violence, or other infringements on your human rights, you may potentially qualify for asylum in the United States. However, these threats are usually of a protected category of people, including those who fear persecution based on their race, political opinions, religion, or national origins.

Applicants for asylum must provide proof of the dangerous conditions that qualify them for legal asylum status. Additionally, they must currently reside within the United States when they submit their application for asylum status (form I-589).

What Forms of Persecution May Qualify an Individual for Asylum?

Persecution covers a wide array of harmful acts. It does not have to be physical in nature to be considered persecution. Rather, persecution means serious and targeted mistreatment of an individual’s basic human rights. This mistreatment must rise above the level of simple harassment.

Common forms of persecution that may qualify for asylum include:

  • ¬†Assaults.
  • Deliberate deprivation of housing, food, or employment.
  • Denial of a passport.
  • Destruction or confiscation of private property.
  • Detainment for political or discriminatory reasons.
  • Detainment without due process.
  • Economic discrimination.
  • Forced abortion or sterilization.
  • Forced labor.
  • Genital mutilation.
  • Human rights violations, including genocide.
  • Invasive physical exams.
  • Pressure to work for the government.
  • Prolonged unlawful detention.
  • Rape or sexual abuse.
  • Restrictions on access to education.
  • Torture.
  • Serious threats of harm, whether physical or psychological in nature.
  • Unlawful surveillance or interference with a person’s privacy.
  • Various forms of physical abuse.
  • And other forms of discrimination or serious mistreatment.

The persecution you fear must be from your government or at the hands of an entity that your government cannot or will not protect you from.

What is the U.S. Asylum Process?

The first step of the US asylum process is to physically arrive in the United States, either by crossing the border or with a valid visa. Those who express real concerns about returning to their home country for fear of persecution may be referred to an asylum officer for an interview.

You must submit an asylum application within one year of your arrival in the United States and attend any and all interviews or hearings with asylum officers. This can be a time-consuming process.

After security checks and interviews, U.S. government officials will decide whether or not to grant you asylum and the right to reside and work in the United States of America.

What is the Difference Between Affirmative Asylum and Defensive Asylum?

Individuals already in the US who are not U.S. citizens can file form I-589 to apply for affirmative asylum. This process can take a long time. Some individuals may not be able to apply for asylum with this form because of special circumstances. It is essential to speak with an attorney to learn your rights.

Defensive asylum is a process available to people who are unlawfully present in the United States or attempting to enter the US without a legal visa. This process is considered riskier and more complicated than the affirmative asylum process. Those who apply for defensive asylum may be detained. If unsuccessful, the applicants may end up in deportation proceedings.

Can Asylees Become Green Card Holders?

Asylees with official legal status may apply for a green card one year after they have obtained legal asylum status. Additionally, family members who obtained asylum may also apply for green cards.

Green cards make immigrants legal permanent residents and put them on the pathway to citizenship.

Should You Consider Legal Help from Asylum Lawyers in Tampa?

Individuals and their families who are seeking asylum in the United States must consult with experienced immigration lawyers as soon as possible. Opting to seek asylum without legal representation is not recommended, as it could result in you being deported back to your home country, the very place you are trying to flee.

Attorney Ernesto Buitrago has years of experience representing clients in complex immigration cases, including asylum cases. We proudly provide our legal services to the Tampa Bay area and would like to discuss your case in more detail without delay.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today

Our law offices, led by Tampa Bay immigration lawyer Ernesto Buitrago, are uniquely qualified to represent you and your family members as you seek asylum in the United States. We have the knowledge and compassion to help those fleeing their home country in pursuit of safety from persecution and the American dream.

To learn more about our legal services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Florida law firm to schedule your free initial consultation today. While our firm is based out of Tampa, FL, our focus is nationwide. Schedule your free case review so that we may discuss your legal matters in more detail. 866-519-3545.