Lawyers Who Are On Your Side

Lawyers Who Are On Your Side

3 requirements: Qualifying for asylum in the United States

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Immigration Law

Many people immigrate to the United States to improve their circumstances. They want more educational or employment opportunities for themselves or their children. They dream of starting a small business or possibly even running for political office. Immigration, including naturalization, can make those dreams a reality for those born in other countries.

A small subset of United States immigrants come to the country specifically because they fear persecution elsewhere. People can request asylum if they believe it is unsafe to return to their country of origin due to the threat of persecution. But, the three requirements below are necessary for someone to qualify for asylum in the United States. One is not simply welcomed into the U.S. as an asylum seeker simply due to a request for refuge.

Physical presence in the country

People sometimes confuse seeking asylum with becoming a refugee. Those still living in other countries or temporarily housed in another nation after fleeing their country of origin can apply for refugee status. Those who have already entered the United States can request asylum. Someone who is lawfully in the United States can apply for asylum as a way to remain in the country even after they would typically need to leave.

A reasonable threat of persecution

Unhappiness with the current political climate and one’s country of origin is not a justification to seek asylum. However, active persecution is a valid reason to request asylum. Those who believe they might face harassment, unfair prosecution or reduced civil rights because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group could theoretically qualify for asylum in the United States. Recent news stories and policy guidelines from the country where someone previously lived can help support their claim that they face persecution if they return home.

Proof of identity

Those seeking asylum need documentation proving who they are. They are subject to certain background check requirements, although they may receive more lenience than those who do not face persecution in another country. Typically, people must submit to biometric collection efforts and may need to attend interviews to confirm their eligibility for asylum.

Understanding the requirements when pursuing asylum can be beneficial for immigrants who want to remain in the United States. Learning more about different immigration rules can help people when they find themselves in a vulnerable situation.