Multiple avenues are available to asylum seekers looking for a better life in the United States. Our Florida asylum lawyer explains the best route to asylum and why it is preferable to come to the U.S. legally.
The escalating unrest, persecution, and discrimination worldwide are fueling a surge in asylum-seeking. Notably, countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Honduras are grappling with humanitarian and economic crises. In response, citizens from these nations increasingly seek asylum in the United States, hoping for safety and freedom. Learn the best path to naturalization from our knowledgeable and experienced Florida asylum lawyer.
There are generally two types of asylum: defensive asylum and affirmative asylum. While both are legitimate pathways to becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, one presents more challenges.
Defensive asylum is a form of protection in the United States for individuals facing deportation. It is called “defensive” because It is sought as a defense against deportation in immigration court after the individual has been placed in removal proceedings.
After crossing the border, you might be put directly into deportation proceedings or referred to a judge who may release you without requiring bail or place you on parole until your hearing.
To qualify for defensive asylum, you must demonstrate a credible fear of persecution or harm in your home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
We are seeing more cases of individuals seeking LGBT asylum due to persecution in their home countries. Typically, members of the LGBT community come to the U.S. on a tourist visa and then apply for affirmative asylum after seeing how much safer their community is here.
If you are seeking asylum in the U.S., it is preferable to come to the U.S. legally to avoid being detained. Our Florida asylum lawyer highly recommends the affirmative asylum route to naturalization.
Affirmative asylum is also a form of protection the United States grants foreign nationals who have suffered persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.
Notably absent from this definition is the fear of deportation because the individual seeking asylum is already legally in the U.S. The U.S. State Department has specified many non-immigrant and immigrant visa categories that allow citizens of other countries to travel legally to the United States. Individuals can also legally enter the U.S. under any humanitarian parole program.
Non-Immigrant vs. Immigrant Visas
Non-immigrant visas are available for temporary travel to the U.S. and include categories like performers, those seeking medical treatment, and business travelers. Immigrant visas are for those seeking permanent residency in the United States as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, family members of lawful permanent residents, and others. While in the U.S. on any visa, you can apply for affirmative asylum within one year of your arrival.
Student Visas and LGBT Asylum
International students on a student visa in the United States can apply for asylum if conditions in their home country undergo significant changes while they are in the U.S. If laws are introduced in their home country that discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community or make it illegal to be LGBTQ+, asylum is available to them.
These alterations in their home country’s circumstances can serve as grounds for filing an affirmative asylum application. This process allows students to seek protection and remain in the U.S. due to fears of persecution based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in their country of origin.
Casais & Prias Has The Immigration Experience You Need
It is essential to explore your options carefully when considering asylum in the United States. Consulting with an experienced Florida asylum lawyer is critical. Managing partner Rolando Casais, Jr. sits on the Board of Directors for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and can provide invaluable guidance.
Affirmative asylum, in particular, allows you to proactively present your case, providing a stronger foundation for your application. To navigate this complex process with our experience and support, contact us for a comprehensive consultation tailored to your situation and needs. Your journey to seeking asylum begins with informed legal counsel.