Asylum Cases

Applying for Asylum in the United States

Allegheny Immigration Group are Immigration Lawyers and Asylum Lawyers. We represent people applying for asylum in the United States and people who assert asylum as a defense to deportation or who assert asylum as a defense to removal. We are experienced asylum lawyers and we handle asylum cases nationwide.

U.S. Immigration Law, the Immigration and Nationality Act ("the "INA") authorizes granting asylum to an alien who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country on account of a credible fear of persecution in the alien's home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Allegheny Immigration Group Lawyers have been filing asylum applications since before the USCIS even existed. We have the experience, sensitivity, insight, and skills necessary to represent your asylum case with skill.

Most people do not know it but the U.S. Government, through its various agencies, studies almost every country in the world and issues annual reports about conditions in those countries. In many cases it is helpful to point out to immigration authorities that other branches of the same U.S. Government have already determined that conditions in the alien's home country are quite dangerous for people like the alien. Allegheny Immigration Group has found that using government reports can be a smart tactic in proving an asylum case.

Allegheny Immigration Group Lawyers take a mature and worldly approach to asylum cases. We are sensitive to personal matters that may come up in an asylum case. Certain aliens applying for asylum may have experienced horrific, sadistic, or humiliating mistreatment in their home country and may be reluctant to discuss specific facts, even with their own lawyer. We make efforts to get to know our clients and build the trust and respect that allows for free communication between attorney and client. Where an applicant for asylum has a particularly humiliating or embarrassing story behind his or her application, we will commonly request a closed door hearing to preserve the privacy and dignity of our client.

Actual Persecution and Credible Fear

Many people ask us if it is necessary to prove actual persecution in their home country. Actual persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion is powerful evidence in support of claim of asylum, but an applicant for asylum need only establish that they have a fear of such persecution if they return home, and that such fear is credible.

Affirmative v. Defensive Applications for Asylum

Asylum applications can be affirmative applications for asylum, where an alien lawfully present in the United States, on his or her own, applies for asylum, or they can defensive applications for asylum, which is the case where an alien asserts asylum as a defense to deportation or asylum as a defense to removal.

Filing Deadlines

As a general rule, an alien must file for asylum within one year of entering the United States. An exception to this "one year rule" exists where the alien can show a change of circumstances that place the alien in credible fear of persecution in the alien's home country due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion more than one year after entering the United States.

Filing Fees

At the present the U.S. Government does not charge a fee to file for asylum.

Working After Grant of Asylum

If your asylum application is granted you will be reclassified as an "asylee." Asylees are authorized to work in the United States immediately. As a practical matter, most employers do not understand this, so most aqsylees actually go ahead and apply for a work permit anyway because that is what potential employers, who are not immigration attorneys, will likely require.

Work Authorization While Asylum Application Pending

After you have filed, your legal status will be applicant for asylum. If there has been no decision on your asylum application for 150 days, you can apply for a work permit on form I-765. If the application is not granted within 180 days of the filing date, you can take further action to force the grant of a work permit.

Unfortunately, the asylum process is grossly overloaded at the present. In many cases you will wait years for a hearing to be scheduled. This means that many applicants for asylum will have to wait 330 days or more form the date of applying for asylum to get a work permit authorizing them to work legally in the United States. Allegheny Immigration Group are experienced in asylum work authorization and will be happy to help with the process.

Please do not hesitate to call us with you Asylum questions or any immigration questions. We offer convenient immigration consultations on weekends and free initial consultations on immigration matters. Allegheny Immigration Group lawyers have been handling asylum cases for 18 years, let us put our experience to work for you.

Client Reviews
I was amazed by how supportive the experience was. They took the time to explain every step of the process, what was needed, and how they were going to accomplish it. They didn't just tell me what to do, they explained the process and gave me options. I was never left in the dark, which made the whole experience very low stress. E.S.
Joe represented me on an asylum case in San Francisco. They day I met him he took out a business card and wrote his personal cell phone number on the back. He told me to feel free to call or text any time I wanted to. I tried it and he wasn't kidding. That sort of concierge style lawyering was a real joy. S.K.
Right after the repeal of DOMA, Joe represented me and my partner on one of Pennsylvania's first immigration cases based on same sex marriage. It was new at the time, and we weren't really sure it would work, Joe reassured us and explained how and why I had the right to file for a green card for my partner - and he made every word he told me come true. The green card was issued about 5 months later. M.M.