If you don’t have relatives in the US, a large amount of money to invest in the national economy, or you doubt whether you can win in the lottery, political asylum can be the most convenient way to obtain a Green Card.
How to get a Green Card through Asylee Status
The one year after obtaining an immigrant status, you can fill out Form I-485. After considering your candidacy, if you are over 14 years old, USCIS will schedule a fingerprint capture. If the procedure passed successfully, GC will be sent to you. In some cases, the commission requires the personal presence of applicants to conduct an interview.
Form G-325A should be in the package of docs. Information from your bio will be described there. It is also necessary to get a report from a civilian surgeon. This document (Form I-693) confirms that you have undergone a medical check. You will be tested by a doctor appointed by USCIS. He will fill out all the fields of the form and seal it in the envelope. It can’t be opened. Send the report with other docs.
A copy of the I-94 form, documents confirming entry into the country with the date of arrival can serve as proof of your status.
In addition, you will need 2 passport photos, copies of identity card, passport pages with non-immigrant visa and admission or parole stamp (if available), birth certificate.
Your spouse and kids under the age of 21 will also be able to get GC if they have refugee status on the basis of your kinship. Each person must fill out a separate Form I-485. Add them all to the general package for sending.
Refugee and asylee statuses: are they the same
Statuses “Refugee” and “Asylee” are closely related. They are appropriated to individuals who are granted shelter in the US. However, a refugee may stay in another country at the moment of application. At the same time, an asylee is a person located in the US.
Also, a refugee must become a PR 1 year after entering the country. These requirements are not imposed on the asylees. However, obtaining a Green Card can serve their best interests.
Grounds for obtaining refugee status
If you still haven’t a refugee status and only consider it as a way of obtaining a Green Card, it is necessary to understand whether this option is suitable for you.
Political asylum is a special legal status granted to a person on the basis of a violation of his rights and freedoms at home. You can ask for protection from a foreign state in connection with the following reasons: a threat to life and health, persecution, and discrimination due to nationality, religious views, race, sexual orientation, illegal actions of state bodies (for example, police inaction or its refusal to protect you).
It seems that the list of circumstances helping to obtain the asylum gives great opportunities for moving to the United States. In fact, this is the most difficult way of immigration. After all, it will be necessary to collect irrefutable evidence of rights violation: docs, certificates, expert opinions, the testimony of witnesses. Let’s consider in more detail the grounds for obtaining refugee status and the proofs which you should collect.
Refugee status through political views
The most common reason for escaping to the US is political persecution. Many members of opposition parties and social movements, journalists of independent publications are subjected to such harassment. Evidence may include medical reports about beatings, calls to the police or prosecutor’s office, copies of the records of searches and detentions, decisions to initiate criminal proceedings.
Refugee status through nationality and religion
The grounds for a request for asylum may be discriminatory rules at work, cases of intentional destruction of property or the imposition of national traditions. In case of religious oppression, people complain about bans on rituals and holidays, wearing traditional clothes and hats.
The chances of obtaining refugee status will be much greater if you will prove the fact of discrimination by the criteria of one of the international human rights organizations, for example, Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.
Refugee status through a sexual orientation
America accepts quite a lot of representatives of the LGBT community. The grounds for requesting asylum can be facts of beating or dismissal from work. But the applicant will have to prove that the native state didn’t protect his interests.
There are situations when a violation of human rights and freedoms is not obvious and requires the more careful collection of proofs. For example, when there was a threat to life and health but police refused to provide protection. In this case, additional documents to confirm the fact of the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings, evidence of incoming threats will be needed.
Or there may be cases of illegal dismissal from work. It’s about racial, national or sexual grounds and not the lack of professionalism of the employee. Here, among other things, it is better to obtain a written testimony of witnesses confirming the discrimination by the management.
Not only those individuals whose rights are being violated at the moment can apply for asylum but also those who are afraid that being at home, they will be subjected to discrimination in the future.
When is it impossible to get a refugee status
There are categories of persons who will not be granted asylum under no circumstances:
- members of terrorist groups (or suspected of terrorist activities);
- citizens who have committed serious crimes;
- people trying to escape justice in their homeland;
- those who participated in the persecution of their compatriots;
- financially secured people able to materially support themselves and their families;
- those who have the permit for loving in a third country (for example, the state of the European Union).
What papers are required for getting a refugee status
You can never be absolutely sure that you have really good reasons and impressive evidence for applying for protection. Even if all the certificates, testimonies and expert opinions are in your hands, they may be not enough. There is no universal list of the necessary documents. All appeals are considered individually. There is always the possibility that your case will seem inconclusive to the immigration officer.
Like any other immigration process, search for asylum must be carefully planned. It is better not to deal with it independently and to entrust the legal part to professionals. Ignorance of laws, language, and order of documents submission can spoil the whole case at the very beginning.
Therefore, the first step is to contact a licensed immigration lawyer who is fluent in your language. He will assess the current situation, give advice on the collection of papers, prepare you for the interview at the USCIS and also come there, will represent you at the immigration court if you are refused at the first time.
Next, you need to fill out an I-589 form – a questionnaire that outlines the causes of fears associated with returning home. The motives for persecution (political, ethnic) are indicated in it. The instructions for the form indicate the address to which you should send the completed document.
The procedure of fingerprinting and administrative verification follows next. After this, the applicant is invited to an interview with an immigration officer. It’s better to come with a lawyer. You will tell in detail about the situation in your home country, provide documents confirming it. They must be translated into English and certified. Translate not only official papers but also newspaper articles if they somehow prove the fact of violation of human rights and freedoms.
The application is usually considered for several years. If it is accepted, you’ll get the desired status. But sometimes there are failures. Then the case is immediately transferred to the immigration court. Do not be afraid of it. First, while the case is being examined, you can’t be detained or deported. Secondly, the refusal in the immigration office does not affect the judgment in any way.
The case is usually considered from one to three years. At least three meetings take place at which it is necessary to present more comprehensive evidence base, to pass the necessary examinations and to bring witnesses (if possible).
During the trial process, the case can be supplemented, reinforced with facts, but its essence can’t be changed. That is, if ethnic oppression at work was declared, you can’t change your mind and say that you are being persecuted for political views.
In the court, you must be represented by an immigration lawyer. The meeting will not be held without him. Also, a court-certified interpreter is present at the hearing.
We hope that this article was useful and you will achieve the set goal. If you have any additional questions about this topic, do not hesitate to ask in the comments.