Connecticut Asylum Attorney
Representation From a Top-Rated Connecticut Asylum Lawyer – Call (203) 753-7300
Whether you have entered the United States by legal or illegal means, you could still be afforded protection if you qualify for asylum. Asylum protects individuals who have come to the United States due to a legitimate fear of persecution in their home country. If you can demonstrate that your fear is credible, you may be able to come under this type of legal protection.
Attorney James A. Welcome has spent more than 17 years representing clients during immigration matters, including seeking asylum. Our staff speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Find out how we can help you today during a consultation, either in person in Connecticut or over the phone. We are dedicated to protecting your rights as an immigrant.
The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
You might think you can handle an asylum case alone, but this can lead to a more difficult legal experience and negatively impact your odds of success. With so much on the line, it is critical to trust your case to an experienced Connecticut asylum attorney.
An attorney will know exactly how to handle the legal legwork of your case. Your lawyer will help you fill out confusing paperwork and submit it to the correct organization by the deadline. Your lawyer will answer all of your legal questions during this difficult time and give you greater peace of mind when you need it the most.
Who Qualifies for Asylum in the United States?
According to 8 U.S. Code Section 1158, an alien who arrives in the U.S. may qualify for asylum if the alien can establish that he or she is a refugee who is being persecuted or who will most likely be persecuted if he or she has to return to his or her home country, and that the persecution is based on race, nationality, religion, political opinion or membership in a social group.
The definition of a refugee is anyone outside of his or her home country who was unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on a protected class. The testimony of the person applying for asylum may be enough on its own to fulfill the burden of proof for eligibility. In some cases, however, the courts may require corroboration of the applicant’s story.
Eligibility for asylum is determined based on the overall circumstances of the case and all relevant factors. In addition, a judge may look at the demeanor, candor or responsiveness of the applicant to determine his or her credibility, as well as statements from witnesses. Finally, a judge may look at reports from the Department of State on the conditions in the applicant’s home country.
Methods of Obtaining Asylum
Asylum is something the U.S. government may grant to someone who has left his or her home country as a political refugee. Gaining asylum status allows a documented or undocumented immigrant to stay in the country. There is no fee to apply for asylum. There are typically two ways that individuals can obtain asylum.
An individual can take the affirmative route or the defensive route:
- Asylum seekers who take the affirmative route must present their case to immigration officers at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For this process, you must be physically present in the U.S. You must apply by submitting Form I-589 to the USCIS.
- Asylum seekers who take the defensive route must present their case before an immigration judge in immigration court. The defensive route means you are seeking asylum as a defense against deportation. This is only an option if you are in the midst of removal proceedings in immigration court.
If affirmative asylum seekers have their application denied, they may still transfer their case to an immigration judge and have another chance to present their case. The judge will not have to agree with the previous USCIS decision. An attorney can decide which route is most appropriate for you based on your situation and your eligibility for asylum.
How Long Do I Have to File for Asylum?
From the date of their arrival in the United States, individuals have one year to file for asylum.
Certain circumstances may extend this deadline:
- If the individual’s home country became dangerous after his or her departure
- If the individual suffered serious illness, mental illness or was given ineffective counsel
Regardless of your circumstances, it is worth getting in touch with an experienced Connecticut immigration lawyer from the Law Offices of James A. Welcome to make sure you know all your options.
How Long Is the Asylum Process?
There is no one answer to this question, as each case is unique. The process can vary considerably based on the factors involved, as well as if there are any complications. In general, the asylum process can take between six months and several years. Affirmative versus defensive asylum can affect the timeline. Hiring an attorney to help you with legal matters can allow you to expedite the process as much as possible.
Can You Visit Your Home Country on Asylum?
If your request for asylum is granted, you may still travel outside of the United States to visit your home country using your refugee documents. It is important, however, not to visit your home country until you are officially classified as a United States citizen and have a U.S. passport you can use for travel. Otherwise, you could encounter issues that seriously impact your status as a refugee or put you at risk of deportation.
Serving Clients Throughout Connecticut With Offices in Waterbury, Danbury & Norwalk
The team at the Law Offices of James A. Welcome is backed by years of experience and committed to the personal representation of each one of our clients. We can make sure that all your paperwork is complete and turned in on time, and keep you updated throughout the process. Our founding attorney has been named to Super Lawyers® and maintains a Superb Rating on Avvo. You can trust that our commitment to excellence translates to every case we handle.
Call (203) 753-7300 to learn more about your options. Se habla español! Weekend and evening appointments are available by appointment.