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How to see if you are eligible for asylum?


First, does the following apply to you:

1. Did you come to US less than 1 year ago?

2. Are you unable or unwilling to return to your native country?

3. Are you in one of the 5 protected categories – will your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion cause you harm if you return to your home country.

4. Is your fear of returning to your home country based on PAST persecution, or are you afraid of FUTURE persecution?

If you answered yes to each of these questions, you may be eligible for asylum! According to Asylum law, 8 USCS §1158, any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States, regardless of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum. However, the applicant himself must prove that he is a refugee by providing testimony, documents, witness letters and other proof of the possibility that returning to the home country will end badly for them.

If you received, or will be receiving, threats to life, confinement, torture, and economic restrictions so severe that they constitute a real threat to life or freedom if you are in a protected category and return home, you will receive Asylum in US.

It is further the alien’s burden of proof to show by clear and convincing evidence that the alien had filed for asylum within 1 year after the date of the alien’s last arrival in the United States. An alien may not file for asylum if a previous application (I-589) had been filed and denied.



If you can show all of the above categories for asylum, but you entered US more than 1 year before filing or committed a crime (aggravated felony or other serious crime).

An asylum officer shall not decide whether the alien should be considered for withholding of removal unless the applicant is ineligible for asylum. Such ineligibility may be established if the alien failed to satisfy the 1-year requirement for filing for asylum, or the alien had committed an aggravated felony or another serious crime, which renders him or her ineligible for asylum.

The standard for being granted withholding of removal are much more strict. The alien must show clear probability of persecution by the government or a group that the government cannot control on account of one of the protected categories: race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. In INS v. Stevic case, for example, the court determined that the probability of persecution must be equivalent to “fifty percent,” a much higher standard than is required for asylum.


According to Article 3 of the CAT, “no State shall expel, return, or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” In the Article 1 of the CAT, torture is defined as: an act causing severe physical or mental pain or suffering, intentionally inflicted, for a proscribed purpose by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official who has custody or physical control of the victim, and not arising from lawful sanctions.

In considering an application for Relief under CAT, the alien must establish that it is more likely than not that he will be tortured in the country of removal by showing evidence of past torture inflicted upon the applicant, whether the applicant could relocate to a part of the country of removal where he or she is not likely to be tortured, evidence of gross, flagrant, or mass violations of human rights within the country of removal, as well as other relevant information regarding conditions in the country of removal.

If you are considering filing for Asylum, now, more than EVER, please use an experienced attorney.

We have close to 20 years of experience working with immigration cases from all over the U.S. and can help you make sure you get your Asylum status as quickly as possible.


Shepelsky Law Group


Tel: (718) 769-6352