Capable and Compassionate Representation in Tampa
If you have been persecuted in the past or fear future persecution in your home country on a protected ground, you may be able to secure asylum status in the United States. Immigrants with asylum status, or “asylees,” have the right to live and work almost anywhere in the country. They can also eventually apply for green cards, which confer lawful permanent residency.
Obtaining asylum status can be extremely challenging, even if you have ample evidence of past or feared persecution. Our Orlando asylum lawyer at DLA Immigration Services has over 25 years of legal experience and can provide the diligent and honest guidance you need when seeking these powerful protections. We understand how asylum claims are adjudicated and will give your case the personal attention it deserves.
To successfully secure asylum in the United States, an individual must demonstrate that they have previously been persecuted in their home country or previous country of residence. An individual may also be able to secure asylum status if they can establish a “well-founded fear” of future persecution should they return to their home country or previous country of residence.
Past or feared persecution does not necessarily have to be carried out by a country’s government. Persecution from any group that the government cannot or will not control, including guerilla militias or gangs, can result in asylum eligibility.
To successfully seek asylum, past or feared persecution must be on the basis of one or more of the following protected grounds:
- Political Beliefs
- Membership in a Particular Social Group
“Membership in a particular social group” can in some cases be interpreted to encompass persecution on the basis of gender or sex. As a result, individuals fearing gendered violence or persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity may be able to secure asylum status.
ExperiencedWe have over 25 years of experience fighting for cases just like yours.
EmpatheticAttorney Lugo-Auffant is very familiar with the immigrant experience and understands the challenges of coming to a new country.
AttentiveWe prioritize our client's unique needs and Attorney Lugo-Auffant has a hand in every single case we handle.
Asylum seekers can apply “affirmatively” or “defensively.” Seeking asylum affirmatively involves proactively applying while already being present in the United States. In most cases, you must affirmatively seek asylum within 1 year of entering the country. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally denies any applications submitted after this deadline.
You must be extremely cautious when considering whether to affirmatively seek asylum. If you do not currently have legal status and USCIS rejects your application, you will likely be targeted for removal. Our Orlando asylum attorney will always be honest and transparent when discussing your application’s likelihood of success and can explore other immigration solutions if seeking asylum is not the best path forward.
Asylum can be sought defensively by individuals arriving at the border without valid status or individuals placed in removal proceedings. The act of seeking asylum operates as a “defense” against removal from the country. An immigration judge will typically evaluate the claim and make a decision on its merits. However, these courts are not obligated to provide asylum seekers with legal representation, and defensive asylum seekers will generally be detained in advance of their hearing.
Whether you seek asylum affirmatively or defensively, you will need to demonstrate past or feared persecution is the direct result of one or more of the protected grounds. Establishing this link can be extremely difficult. We are extensively familiar with how asylum claims are processed and can work closely with you to build a robust and persuasive case.
Benefits of Asylum Status in the United States
Asylees can live and work nearly anywhere in the United States. They are also eligible for certain government benefits, including Social Security Income and Medicaid. In many cases, spouses and qualifying children can accompany asylees.
Asylum status offers a pathway to permanent U.S. citizenship. Asylees must first wait at least 1 year and can then apply for green cards. Once they are lawful permanent residents, asylees must wait an additional 4 years (while meeting physical and continuous presence requirements) before they are eligible to initiate the naturalization process.
Our Orlando asylum lawyer at DLA Immigration Services understands what is at stake in these cases. Whether you are looking to affirmatively seek asylum or have been placed in removal proceedings, our firm is prepared to fight for you.