Our Portland Immigration Attorneys Have Extensive Experience Handling Asylum Claims

At Vanderwall Immigration, our Portland asylum attorneys have the professional skills and legal expertise to provide reliable immigration support to vulnerable people. Asylum cases are complicated—you do not have to figure out everything on your own. If you have any specific questions or specific concerns about an asylum claim, we are here to help. Contact our Salem office or our Beaverton office for your fully confidential, no-obligation initial case evaluation.

Asylum: Know the Basics

The United States offers a number of different immigration protections for vulnerable people. One of the most important—and most misunderstood—is asylum. Broadly explained, asylum is a form of immigration status that offers protection to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who fear persecution in their homeland. 

In order to qualify for asylum in the United States, an applicant must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The application process is complicated. A person will need to navigate a complex system that involves paperwork, interviews, and court hearings. 

When granted, asylum offers significant benefits. Indeed, an immigrant who makes a successful application for asylum will obtain legal status, work authorization, and a path to permanent residency in the United States. Timeliness is key in an asylum case. Be proactive: Consult with an experienced Portland, OR asylum attorney as soon as possible. 

Understanding the Asylum Application Process

The asylum application process in the United States is complex. If you or your loved one is entering the process, it is crucial that you understand how the system works. To start, a person will be required to file a legal document called Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. This application is time-sensitive. Here are some key things to know about the process: 

  • Filing the Asylum Application: As stated above, the asylum seeker must complete and submit Form I-589 to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is a comprehensive application. You will be required to provide detailed information about your identity, your background, and the basis for your asylum claim.
  • Fingerprinting and The Background Check: The applicant will be scheduled for fingerprinting. Comprehensive biometric data will be taken. Beyond that, USCIS conducts a security check and a background check against various law enforcement databases.
  • The Asylum Interview: The asylum seeker attends the interview, where they must provide a detailed account of their claim, present evidence, and respond to questions. The interview is key. You can and should be represented by a lawyer during the interview. 
  • Immigration Decision: After the interview, the Asylum Officer will either approve the application, refer the case to the Immigration Court for defensive asylum processing, or deny the claim if the applicant can be safely returned to their home country.

Asylum Can Lead to a Green Card—and Eventually U.S. Citizenship

The benefits of asylum are significant. To start, asylum—when granted—offers immediate legal status. From there, the asylum seeker will have a pathway to permanent residency and, potentially, United States citizenship. A person who has received asylum may apply for a green card one year after their asylum approval. permanent residents, asylees can pursue career opportunities, access educational facilities, and receive certain public benefits. After five years as a green card holder, an asylee is eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. 

An Overview of the Right to Bring Family Members to the U.S. Through Asylum Status

An asylum applicant may be eligible to petition to bring family members to the United States through a type of immigration option called “asylee derivative status.” More specifically, a spouse and children under 21 who are unmarried may be eligible to come to the U.S. through an asylum recipient. To apply to bring a family member to the country, an applicant will need to complete and submit Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Asylum

Is Asylum a Defense Against Deportation?

Is Asylum a Defense Against Deportation?

Yes—or at least it can be in some cases. While a person can proactively bring an asylum claim, asylum can also be raised as a defense against deportation. A person who is involved in removal proceedings may apply for asylum while that process is ongoing. If asylum is granted, it will protect them from being sent back to a country where they fear persecution. This is often referred to simply as “defensive asylum.”If you have any questions about raising asylum as a defense against deportation, contact an experienced immigration attorney for immediate help. 

What Evidence Can Be Used to Show a Credible Fear of Persecution?

A wide array of different types of evidence can be raised to show that a person has a credible fear of persecution in their home country. What exactly you should show as evidence depends entirely on your specific situation. Evidence that is often used in asylum claims include: 

  • Personal testimonies. 
  • Witness statements.
  • Medical reports.
  • Police reports.
  • Expert affidavits on current country conditions. conditions documentation. 
How Long Does the Asylum Application Process Take?

It depends. The duration of the asylum application process can vary widely based on individual circumstances. For the entire asylum process to be completed, anywhere between several months and multiple years is within the normal range. While expedited screening processes exist for those in detention or facing expedited removal, non-detained cases may experience significant delays. No matter your situation, an experienced Portland asylum lawyer can help. 

Why Would an Asylum Claim Be Denied?

Asylum claims are challenging. An application for asylum could be rejected for a wide variety of different reasons. Notably, there is a high bar that needs to be met in order to qualify for asylum within the United States. An asylum claim may be denied if the applicant fails to meet the definition of a refugee under federal law—meaning immigration officials determined that an applicant has not put forward sufficient evidence to prove that they face a credible fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. 

How Can an Immigration Attorney Help With an Asylum Claim?

You should consult with a top-tier Asylum immigration lawyer as early as possible in the asylum claims process. An Asylum immigration attorney can assist with each and every aspect of your asylum case—from helping you navigate the complex legal process to ensuring paperwork is filed correctly. Beyond that, an asylum lawyer can prepare you for interviews, help gather and submit persuasive evidence, and represent you in any court proceedings. 

Why Rely On the Asylum Lawyers at Vanderwall Immigration

Asylum claims are notoriously complex. You and your family do not have to navigate the immigration system alone. At Vanderwall Immigration, we are committed to uniting and reuniting families, including through the asylum application process. Our firm provides truly personalized legal guidance and support. More specifically, our immigration lawyers are prepared to: 

  • Listen to your story and answer legal questions about your asylum claim. 
  • Help you gather all relevant documents and records. 
  • Handle the asylum application paperwork.
  • Take action to help you and your family secure the best outcome. 
  • Represent you in front of USCIS and Portland Immigration Court 

Get Help From Our Portland, OR Asylum Attorneys Today

At Vanderwall Immigration, our Portland immigration lawyer has deep experience handling complex asylum claims. If you or your loved one needs help with an asylum application please do not hesitate to contact us for your fully confidential, no-commitment case review. With offices in Beaverton and Salem, we handle asylum claims in Portland and all across the wider region.