Many people seeking a better life in the United States come for more economic opportunity or even access to medical care that can save the life of their spouse or their child. Others come because the United States is a country that does not discriminate based on religion, gender, race and many other factors.
Those who have faced discrimination or even persecution in their country of origin because of their religion, ethnic background or other factors may enter the United States because they fear for their safety or the safety of their family. If you find yourself facing deportation and worry about your rights or safety in your country of origin, do you have the option of applying for asylum in order to remain in the United States?
Most people applying for asylum have to do so within a year of entry
Asylum is something sought by those entering the United States or who have recently begun living in the country to protect them from persecution in their homeland. In theory, whether someone enters the country with a visa or without proper paperwork, they have the right to apply for asylum.
For the vast majority of applicants, submission of the asylum application must occur within a year of their entry into the United States. However, there are extreme circumstances in which you may be able to apply for asylum when you have been in the country for longer than a year.
Serious illnesses, legal or medical disabilities, aging out of being a dependent on someone else’s asylum application or even dramatic changes in the policy or culture in the country that you come from could all allow you to apply for asylum even if you’ve been in the United States for more than a year.
How asylum protects vulnerable immigrants
Asylum can prevent the deportation of those who do not otherwise have the legal right to stay in the United States. If they could face harm or persecution by the government or powerful organizations in their nation of origin, immigrants facing deportation could be facing incarceration or even death.
Asylum protects these individuals by giving them an opportunity to remain in the United States based on the risk that they face in their home country. Seeking asylum is complex, so acting quickly and getting the right help during the process can greatly increase your chances of success.