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The process of seeking asylum in America

Immigrants seeking to apply for asylum should know all that they can about the process first. It can be long and somewhat difficult in many cases, which can be somewhat discouraging to those who don't expect having so many hurdles to jump over.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, first clarifies who can seek asylum. A person that is seeking asylum in the United States must be actively persecuted, or have a strong reason to believe that they will be persecuted, for any number of the following:

  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in certain groups

Popular examples include political refugees who flee from their country after a competing party gains total control of their government. Genocidal movements within countries against people of certain races or nationalities also result in mass migrations, and those people could be granted asylum due to the immediate threat to their life if they were to return.

As FindLaw shows, the process of applying for asylum can still take a lot of time. Even if a person is eligible due to their circumstances, they still need to fill out the application, have a hearing, and wait for a verdict from their asylum officer. After reviewing all of their paperwork and interviewing them in person, the ultimate decision of whether or not to grant asylum is up to the officer.

However, it should be noted that if a person is denied asylum, it's possible to challenge the officer's decision. This is where having legal aid may possibly help, as the extra guidance could secure a more favorable outcome.

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