Here are the basics of asylum in the U.S. Asylum is a way for aliens to stay in the U.S. Asylum is protection that the U.S. government gives to certain aliens who would be persecuted if they returned to their home country. If granted, asylum allows the alien to stay in the U.S., to work here, and to receive a green card.
An alien is eligible for asylum in the U.S. if he or she can prove three facts, according to Daniel M. Murphy, specilaist in immigration law. First, he or she must prove that he or she fears being personally persecuted in his or her home country. Persecution may be any of the following:
- serious physical harm;
- forced medical or psychological treatment;
- unfair punishment for a criminal offense;
- severe discrimination and economic punishment, and
- severe criminal extortion or robbery.
Second, he or she must prove that if he returned to his home country, he would be persecuted because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group. Persecuted social groups may be based on:
- sexual orientation (gay men and lesbians);
- gender identity (in some cases);
- HIV positive status (in some cases);
- genital mutilation.
Third, he must prove that the government of his home country is either involved in the persecution or will not protect him from persecution by its civilians. The government includes:
- the police;
- the military;
- schools run by the government.
A person seeking asylum must apply for asylum within one year from arriving in the U.S. unless circumstances have changed that made him eligible for asylum after his first year of being in the U.S. Contact an immigration lawyer if you have questions about the basics of asylum in the U.S.