Asylum Attorney in Houston
Serving Clients Nationwide
Many people come to the United States not just to join their family members or begin a new job, but to escape dangerous conditions or persecution in their home country. Like many other countries, the U.S. offers a form of protection called asylum, which is lawful status that eventually allows you to apply for permanent residence (a green card).
The Law Office of Ivan Neel is here to give your case the highest possible likelihood of success. I know you might be feeling a number of exhausting emotions, which is why I am ready to make this process as painless as possible for you and your loved ones.
How to Qualify for Asylum in the United States
Many people request asylum before entering the United States, but you may still be eligible for asylum if you entered the U.S. unlawfully. Asylum, in fact, is a common defense against deportation. If an agency initiates a removal proceeding because they discover your unlawful presence, you can request asylum and potentially avoid being removed from the country. This is called defensive asylum (versus affirmative asylum, which is when you request asylum before the government has initiated a removal proceeding).
To qualify for asylum, you must meet the international definition of a refugee, which is a person who cannot or will not return to their country of origin because they have been persecuted or believe they will be persecuted.
This persecution must be based on:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
Additionally, you must apply for asylum within one year of entering the United States. Missing this deadline can prevent you from qualifying for asylum, even if you meet all other requirements.
The Benefits of Asylum Status
Asylum can be difficult to obtain, but the benefits are worthwhile.
With asylum, you can:
- Work anywhere in the U.S.
- Obtain a Social Security card
- Petition to bring family members to the U.S.
- Qualify for certain government benefits
- Apply for a green card one year after obtaining asylum status
Once you become a permanent resident (green card holder), you can live and work permanently in the United States. You can even apply for citizenship after a certain number of years.
How To Apply for Asylum
To apply for asylum in the United States, you must follow a specific process. There are two main paths to apply for asylum: the affirmative process and the defensive process.
Affirmative Asylum Process
- If you are physically present in the U.S. and have not been placed in removal proceedings, you can use the affirmative asylum process.
- You must file your asylum application within one year of your arrival in the U.S. Begin by completing Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.
- Along with your application, you'll need to submit a personal statement detailing why you need asylum and any supporting evidence.
Defensive Asylum Process
- To avoid deportation while facing removal proceedings, you can apply for asylum.
- You'll have to make your case in front of the immigration judge.
- Your eligibility for asylum will be determined by an immigration judge.
- In the event that the court rejects your request for asylum, you may also appeal the ruling.
It's crucial to consult with an Houston immigration attorney or accredited representative to navigate the asylum application process successfully, as it can be legally complex and may have significant consequences.
Can I Work in the U.S. While My Asylum Application is Pending?
Yes, you can work in the United States while your asylum application is pending, but there are specific conditions and steps you must follow. After you have been in the U.S. for at least 150 days following the submission of your asylum application, only then can you apply for employment authorization. This is done by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
You will be given an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which enables you to lawfully work in the US, once your Form I-765 is accepted. With the EAD, you can apply for and accept a job with any U.S. business.
Keep in mind that while your asylum application is pending, you must notify the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of any changes in your residence or contact information in order to receive essential updates about your case.
Working legally in the U.S. during the asylum process can provide you with stability and financial independence while your application is being reviewed.
Honest and Professional Legal Support
I understand how high the stakes may be for you and your family. This is why I am ready to serve as your zealous advocate, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible results on your behalf. The immigration system can be difficult to navigate, but I am here to restore your hope and confidence in the future. Let me put my skills, knowledge, and creative problem solving to work for your case.
“I wish I had contacted Ivan Neel sooner!!” - Isadora G.
“Very Professional and Secure” - Jose R.
“Makes You Feel Like Family” - Ramona W.