For some individuals seeking access into the country, the United States is viewed as a place of refuge. For a number of reasons, every year people enter all areas of the country, including California, seeking asylum. In order for asylum to be granted, certain specifications must be met, and set application procedures must be followed for a chance to obtain this status.
Asylum is not just granted to anyone; there must be a valid reason to apply. Those who are facing persecution or have valid concerns of possible persecution, or those who have been threatened with physical harm or domestic violence situations may qualify to have this status granted. As with any immigrant wishing to obtain legal status in the country, a certain application process must be completed before asylum is either granted or denied.
There are two basic ways of applying for asylum. The first is asking for asylum at a port of entry and the second is filling out the proper application form. Applicants have up to one year from the time they enter the United States to fill out this application. A few extenuating circumstances may allow for an application to be submitted after this time-frame.
After the request for asylum has been made, the applicant will need to attend an in-person interview with a judge or Asylum Officer. After this interview, the decision to approve or deny asylum status will be sent to the applicant in writing. If an application is denied, applicants are given a small window of time to appeal the decision.
Immigrants to California who have valid fears of returning to their native country may choose to seek asylum status in order to remain in the country. Immigration policies and procedures can be confusing to figure out without some guidance. For those seeking asylum, legal assistance is available to help complete the required application form, file appeals if necessary and provide any other immigration support needed.
Source: FindLaw, “Obtaining Asylum: Claim Chronology“, , Oct. 15, 2014