Asylum Attorney in Florida
There are laws in the U.S. Constitution that protect individuals from injustice and harm. However, other countries don’t always offer their citizens the same protection. If a foreigner’s life is at risk, they may be able to escape to safety in the U.S. First, they need to get asylum status.
Only some individuals are eligible for asylum. By contacting an attorney at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, you can learn more about your options for avoiding persecution. One of our asylum attorneys in Florida can help you.
The Basics of Asylum
The refugee program in Florida is the largest in the country. Every year, there are about 27,000 asylees, Cuban or Haitian entrants, and refugees in the state. Florida protects thousands of foreign-born people.
Asylum status allows an individual to remain in the U.S. because they could experience harm in their country of origin. If the government grants asylum status, the individual can legally live and work in the U.S. They also can travel to a different country and re-enter the U.S. In some cases, they may be able to apply for Medicaid, food stamps, or other government assistance.
Once you receive asylum status, you could be on your way to receiving a green card. The government allows you to apply for your green card one year after you receive asylum status.
Who is Eligible?
There are several eligibility requirements for asylum. First, the person must be in the U.S. or in a port of entry to the U.S. Individuals who are overseas need to apply for refugee status, and not asylum. In some cases, people undergoing removal proceedings can seek asylum.
Other requirements relate to the individual’s home country. You are eligible for asylum if the following is true:
- You experienced or expect persecution in your home country
- The government or an uncontrolled group threatens your safety
- You fear persecution based on your race, religion, political view, nationality, or social group
For example, a Gainesville foreign student feared his home country would persecute him for his sexual orientation. He’s one of many individuals who could face death in their country.
If you want asylum, you need to file your application within a year of the last time you entered the U.S. Although there are exceptions, they are limited. The government could start removal proceedings, and you may be forced back home.
Asylum and Working
You do not have asylum status until the government approves your application. However, you may be able to work while you wait for your approval. 180 days after submit your application, you can apply for a work permit.
If you try working before you receive a permit or your application is approved, you could lose your chance at asylum. Therefore, you should consult with an attorney before starting any jobs.
The Application Process
If you’re working with an attorney, they can go into more details about the application process. But there are a few steps you should know about.
First, you need to file your application for asylum with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. The Asylum Office reviews your application and will interview you. During the interview, they will evaluate whether or not you are eligible for asylum.
You won’t get an immediate decision on the issue. Typically, it takes a month or two from the time you apply to the time you receive a decision. If the USCIS approves it, you are an asylee. If they deny it, you can go to immigration court to fight the decision. A judge will hear your case and decide on the outcome. During the proceedings, a lawyer from the Department of Homeland Security will be there. The process usually takes between six months and two years.
If all goes well, you can receive asylum status. But there could be a complication. The Department of Homeland Security could appeal the decision to grant you asylum. You could fight a denial by going to the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Do You Need to Hire One of the Asylum Attorneys in Florida?
Working with an attorney can improve your chances of achieving asylum status. However, the government does not give you access to a free attorney. It’s up to you to find and hire someone to help you through the process.
Whether or not you achieve asylum depends on your circumstances. The reason for your persecution, your personal history of persecution, and the amount of supporting evidence you have can affect your case. There are no guarantees you can stay in the U.S., but there are ways you can increase your chances of a good outcome.
By working with a lawyer, you can learn more about the process. They can answer your questions about eligibility and help you with the paperwork. Additionally, they can explain some of the complexities of asylum law. For instance, they can tell you more about the following:
The Asylum Clock
This refers to the amount of time you have had a pending application. If you want to apply for a work permit, you need to wait for the asylum clock to be 180 days.
The clock can stop for certain reasons. Typically, it stops when the applicants cause delays in the process. For example, asking to postpone a date could stop the clock. You may be able to restart the clock by filing the right paperwork.
The Necessary Evidence
Simply saying that your home country is dangerous is not enough for asylum. To achieve your desired status, you need to have proof. You must show why you are likely to experience harm in your country. By working with an attorney, you may be able to get the evidence you need.
A Lawyer with Experience
The Florida Immigration Law Counsel has years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals from other countries. We have the resources and knowledge necessary to handle your case.
Asylum doesn’t only give you a ticket into the U.S. It could save you from harm or hardship. Our firm understands what you have at stake. For that reason, we dedicate ourselves to getting you a good outcome. Contact us today to learn more.