If you've entered the United States as an asylum-seeker, you've joined a very large group. Hundreds of people are entering the United States each day in an attempt to obtain immigration and asylum status. However, it's a very long process, and not everyone is helped right away. To speed up the process, it helps if you're prepared. It also helps if you understand the process. Here are five things you need to know if you're seeking asylum.
You Need to Request Asylum
If you've come into the United States in an attempt to obtain asylum from your home country, it's crucial that you let officials know that as soon as possible. Asylum-seekers are processed differently than those who are entering the country as undocumented immigrants. If you're traveling with minor children, it's crucial that you claim asylum status, immediately. You'll have a better chance of remaining with your children once you request asylum.
You Must be Fearful of Returning
When it comes to requesting asylum, it's important that the request be based on a fear of returning to your home country. It can't be enough that you simply don't want to return, or that you're looking for better economic opportunities for your family. You must be in genuine fear for your safety should you be forced to return to your home country.
Your Fear Must Be Based on a Specific Criteria
Once you acknowledge a fear of return, that fear needs to be based on a specific criteria. That means, your request for asylum must be based on specific situations within your home country. Those situations include the imprisonment of undesirables within the country, targeted genocide, religious persecution, etc. It's also important that you fit into one of those targeted groups before you can claim asylum status.
You Must Have Documentation of the Situation
If you're going to be claiming asylum status, it's crucial that you have documentation for your request. There are several steps you can take to provide documentation. First, you can provide your own sworn statement. Second, you can provide witness statements regarding your claims. Third, you can use things like news stories for documentation. The more documentation you have, the easier it will be to process your request.
You're Going to Need Legal Assistance
Applying for asylum status is not easy, and it's not something that you should do on your own. If you're trying to enter the United States by claiming asylum status, you're going to need legal assistance as soon as possible. Immigration attorneys are there to help you through the process. When you're talking to immigration officials, be sure to tell them that you are seeking asylum, and that you need an attorney. If you have family members who are already residing in this country, have them obtain legal counsel for you immediately. For more information, contact a lawyer in your area.