Are you afraid of returning to your own country? Do you seek asylum in the United States? If yes, read this comprehensive step-by-step guide about filing for asylum at the borders of the US and learn about the process.
Step by Step Guide to Apply for Asylum
Collect Your Original Documents
If you have decided to run away from the horror of your country and wish to seek shelter in the United States, you can ask for asylum at the US borders.
Before leaving your homeland, the most important thing is to collect all your documents that prove you are escaping the country. It’ll be the first thing you need to present to the authorities when you arrive at the borders. All documents must speak on your behalf about the nationality or religion or of a social group, or of a political opinion that’s in the minority in your country and that you belong to, and that there are more people like you.
The US border authorities always verify that you’re one of many who gets abused, persecuted, falsely arrested, beat up, basically just badly, badly treated in your home country.
Prove your Condition
After proving that you belong to that category, you must support the truth of your unfortunate condition with evidence to exclaim that you’re in misery for belonging to that particular category. It might be tough for you to explain the situation, but the authorities need to check that the abuse you face in your country is not for any personal reason.
For example, if you were a Baptist in an Orthodox country, went from house to house and tried to convert people and tell people about the word of God and the Baptist religion, and maybe like you got somebody’s dog mad, and they yelled at you or did something to you. That’s not asylum. But if somebody said “you dirty Baptist!” and beat you up because of that, and you tried to get the police to save you, and they didn’t, now we have a story that would qualify for asylum.
Also, if you have medical letters from your country, bring them with English translations. If you have anything that shows you belong to a protected category, don’t forget to bring that, as each piece of evidence will make your application stronger.
Any piece of proof that shows the abuse you suffered in that category brings those documents with you because you might be asked to show that paperwork right at the border when you enter.
Appear In Front Of The Immigration Lawyer
As soon as you present yourself in front of the immigration officer at the border, you must explain why you are seeking asylum and convey your true condition of abuse to the officer.
You need to tell the officer that you were detained, arrested, and beaten up for belonging to a particular community or religion that is against the regime of the ruling government.
Give the Credible Fear Interview
Moving further in the process, you might be asked to give a credible fear interview where the immigration officer at the border at the ICE office will question you about your story, your background.
Remember, you have a right to do this credible fear interview in your language and have the right to an interpreter or a translator. You can ask the authorities to call an interpreter and tell your story while having the translator in between.
Possible Outcomes for Your Asylum Case
Once you complete the above process, and if the ICE officers find your statements and documents valid, there are two possible things that might happen. Either they will give you a court letter and let you go, and then you have to make sure you come to the court hearing; or they might detain you first, put you in ICE jail, put you in quarantine, immunize you, give you the vaccine they have, and then you’ll have a right to a hearing on getting let out under bond and to tell your friends or relatives here how much to pay to get you out.
Sometimes people don’t have a bond and have to stay in ICE detention for a while. But eventually, they will release you and schedule you for a court date for your asylum case.
File the Asylum Application
The next step is you have to make sure to actually go ahead and file the application for asylum. Fill out the form. I-589, asylum application, and once the USCIS receives that, they turn on the time and the clock for your work authorization.
You’ll be able to get a work authorization after a certain period. Under the current laws, you have to wait a whole year to get the work authorization. But if you sign up for class membership in the ASAP class membership or Casa De Maryland class membership, and you have proof of being a member of the class, you can apply for your work permit after 6 months.
Remember, you have to prove that you’re eligible to be basically your defense and deportation for your asylum. So, you have to prove it by showing that you are in the protected category, race, nationality, religion, political opinion, or social group, you’re one of those people, plus your abuse was directly related to it, and you had no other option than choosing the United States to live in.
How Do Judges Interpret Asylum Applications?
According to the Judges of the United States, if you have a passport from Europe or anywhere, you don’t have an asylum case because you could just get on a plane and go to the country where you’re a citizen, even if your original country, where you were born, is a bad country.
For example, if you were a citizen of France, you could just go live in France. It’s a free democratic country.
Your harsh and unfortunate conditions hardly matter to the judges, and therefore, you need to present the strongest evidence to get asylum in the United States. It is how the immigration judges think.
Crossing the Borders? – Ask for Asylum
Now you are quite aware of the fact that no matter how hard it was for you to survive in your own country, it might get harder for you to prove it to the authorities of the United States to seek asylum.
Crossing the borders? Bring all the proofs as mentioned above, pass the credible fear interview, and then wait for the next move. You might also be detained and put in immigration jail for some time, or in some cases; you might go through the bond experience, which means your relatives have to give money to make sure that you come out.
In that case, you get a supervised release and have to wear a bracelet, a tracking device on your leg so as to keep track of you. You have to check in every month or so with ICE, with the immigration policy, to make sure you didn’t run, that you’re still here.
Important Things About Applying For Asylum
Don’t forget to file the asylum application within one year since you entered the United States. Don’t forget to have all your proofs. And it’s a good idea to attend a psychologist here in the United States for your case, to show that you have been traumatized and you went through a bad time.
Have an American psychologist testify as to your witness. You can find a lot of organizations that provide free counseling, so you would be able to find a free psychologist for your case type.
Another good piece of advice is if you were in a certain religion, for example, you should continue to practice that religion when you come here. So if you have a certain, let’s say church, you’re Baptist or evangelical, find a church in your area and attend on a regular basis. If you’re changing your religion in the United States, it’s the same advice. Please make sure to go and attend services.
If you are in political opposition, it is advised to continue to do whatever work you did before, post on social media showing the activity of the opposition. Otherwise, you won’t be able to prove why you are afraid to return to your country.
Attending The Court For Asylum Case
When you get a court date, the first one or two hearings with an immigration judge after the bond will be just formalities to get established that you’re asking for asylum, withholding of removal, and convention against torture defense against deportation.
What your native language is, where do you live, when is the date for your big court hearing? Individual or merits hearing, as it’s called, sometimes that’s gonna be your trial.
Best Advice – Get a Good Asylum Lawyer
Filing for Asylum in the United States can turn out to be a cumbersome and tiring process with lots of complexities. To keep your case strong, you must hire a professional Asylum lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the laws.
If you are looking to file for an Asylum Lawyer, Marina Shepelsky and team provide the best legal services to immigrants who seek to get into the United States through the path of asylum. Our expert lawyers prepare your case well before appearing in court and maximize your chances of winning asylum.
Get the best asylum lawyer to stand by your side and support your case.