With economic and political turmoil getting worse around the globe everyday more and more people are fleeing their home countries to seek refuge in the U.S., the land of freedom and opportunity. People who fear persecution in their native countries may request the U.S. government grant them asylum. To be eligible for asylum one must file their application within one year of their arrival to the U.S.

Affirmative Asylum

If a person is not scheduled to go before an immigration court then they would be filing what is called an Affirmative Asylum application with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is done on form I-589. Once filed the asylum applicant will receive a receipt notice from USCIS confirming the case is being processed. Eventually the asylum applicant will be scheduled by USCIS for an asylum interview. After the interview if the case is approved then the applicant will have asylum status and can apply for lawful permanent residence a year later. If the case is not approved and the asylum applicant is out of status then his/her case shall be forwarded to the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) also know as Immigration Court for a second opportunity to be reviewed. At this point, the case will convert from an Affirmative Asylum claim to a Defensive Asylum claim.

Defensive Asylum

Once before the Immigration Court, an asylum applicant will have an opportunity to supplement his/her case, amend their application if need be and present witnesses at a final hearing also know as an Individual Hearing. If the Immigration Court approves the case then the applicant will have asylum status and can apply for lawful permanent residence a year later. If the case is denied, then the applicant will have the opportunity to appeal their case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

In over 16 years of successfully practicing before the immigration courts, the team at Michael Mendez, P.A. has represented thousands of immigrants seeking a better and safer life for themselves and their loved ones. Whether you are planning on filing for asylum or have had your case referred to the Immigration Court, the team at Michael Mendez, P.A. can provide you with the support you need. Call us today for a consultation at 407-250-3333 or toll free at 1-866-366-MLAW.