What You Need To Know About Asylum And Refugee Status

Refugee and asylum status are protections put into place for those who have left a different country for safety purposes and are afraid to go back. There is a slight difference between refugee status and asylum, mostly having to do with where you apply. If you are outside the United States, you apply as a refugee. If you have already made it over the US border, you apply for asylum. The following are some additional things you should know about these protections:

Does Everyone Qualify?

Not everyone who applies will receive either refugee or asylum protection. There are some requirements you must meet. First, you have to show you are unwilling or unable to go back to your home country due to persecution against you. Secondly, you have to show that the persecution is related to your religion, race, social status, or your political affiliations.

What Exactly Does Persecution Mean?

Persecution is the act of oppression, punishment, harassment, or any action that causes the suffering of psychological or physical injury. Included acts of persecution including violence, torture, threats, false imprisonment, or the denial of human rights. There are no specific actions that can define persecution, but some examples include threats due to your sexuality, harassment over your religious preferences, imprisonment for petty crimes, and the like.

Are You Eligible for Legal Protection?

If you think you are eligible for refugee or asylum protection in the US, you have to prepare accordingly. You will need to file an application with the United States government for protection. You also have to provide proof with evidence of your claims of persecution. Evidence can include your testimony of what your life is like when living in your country, witness statements from others who saw your persecution, news reports about the state of affairs in your country, or expert witness statements.

Even if you can provide this information and you meet the criteria for asylum or refugee status, you can still be denied legal protection.

Determining whether or not you are eligible for legal protection is not an easy process. You have to go in prepared with as much evidence as you can find. You also have to go before a judge to prove your claim. As soon as you can, begin working with an immigration attorney to help you create a solid case that will hopefully get you full legal protection in the United States.