Asylum Eligibility and Applications
“Applying for Asylum is not easy. Just because you apply does not mean you will win. Have it done right.”— Brian D. Lerner
To be eligible to file a self-petition (an application that you file for yourself for immigration benefits) you must qualify under one of the five categories allowed. For example, it could be political opinion, or opinion based on race, or national origin. It could be on a social group or religion. See if qualify as a Refugee.
Derivative applications can be done for spouses and children who are single and under 21. Note that only the primary applicant needs to provide the real ‘asylum’ reasons. The derivatives only have to prove the relationship to qualify for the asylum. How to apply for Asylum.
If your inside the U.S., that is the only realistic way you would apply for asylum. If you are outside the U.S., you would apply only as a refugee. If approved, years later, you would be admitted to the U.S. and then you can later apply for residency.
Religious asylum is certainly a basis to file for asylum. For example, you could be born in a Muslim country, but converted to Christianity. In this case, you could show you were persecuted by the country because of your religious choice.
Normally, you would want to apply for asylum after entering the U.S. within one year. Otherwise, the case becomes much more difficult and you have to legally explain why you did not file within the first year of entry to the U.S.
Once you enter the U.S., if you have entered illegally, you are supposed to be given the opportunity to have a Credible Fear Interview. This is where it is preliminarily determined if you have somewhat of an asylum claim. In fact, there is a case that just came out which shows that the burden of proof cannot be so great that they must meet the total evidentiary requirements right at the interview.
If you are already in the U.S. when you apply for asylum, then normally, it would be filed at the Service Center and later transferred to the local asylum office. There are a very few exceptions whereby the applicant can file that asylum directly with the local asylum office.
Asylum Interviews Allow Immigration Attorney’s to be Present With You