How to Build a Strong Case for Immigration Asylum

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There are several paths to gaining legal residency status in the United States. Asylum is an option available for people fleeing from persecution in their country of origin. However, an immigrant must meet specific criteria to be granted asylum—and they must prove that in a hearing with an immigration judge or a USCIS adjudicator officer.

Who Qualifies for Asylum?

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) was passed in 1952. This legislation continues to define asylum criteria and process to this day. An individual seeking asylum in the United States must show that they face persecution if returned to their country of origin, and that this persecution stems from any of the following:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinions
  • Membership in a particular social group

If the asylum applicant can demonstrate one of the above, they must further show that there was no viable third country where they could have safely settled. This will generally (although not always) be applied in cases where a safe alternative is geographically in between the country of origin and the United States, or in circumstances where a third country has already made asylum available.

Deadline to File Asylum

Asylum must be filed within one year of entry into the united states. However, change country conditions or change personal circumstances could be exceptions to the one year deadline rule.

Ways to Prove Your Asylum Case

An applicant will have to prove two different things in their asylum hearing:

  • That they are a member of one of the five groups noted above
  • That the group they are a member of faces a legitimate fear of persecution
  • Establish past persecution or demonstrate a well founded fear of future persecution.

The possible sources of evidence we can present include the following:

A Personal Affidavit / Declaration

A detailed personal affidavit serves as a cornerstone of the asylum application. Given under penalty of perjury, this allows the asylum seeker to narrate their experiences and fear of persecution in their own words. A well-crafted personal affidavit can provide a compelling narrative that humanizes the asylum seeker's plight, offering insights into the specific challenges they have encountered and the fears that drive their need for protection.

Witness Statements / Third party affidavit

Third parties can corroborate the asylum seeker's story of persecution with an affidavit of their own. This witness testimony can offer independent verification of the events described by the asylum seeker, enhancing the credibility and reliability of their case.

Medical Records

There are terrible cases where asylum applicants have already suffered physical abuse. These need to be documented by the authorities. Medical records from healthcare providers detailing the physical and psychological impact of the persecution can substantiate the harm experienced and underscore the validity of the asylum seeker's claim for protection.

Photos or Videos

These forms of visual evidence can provide a powerful and visceral depiction of the conditions in the asylum seeker's home country, or the persecution they have endured. Photos and videos not only lend credibility to the account given in the personal affidavit, but they can make that narrative tangible and more persuasive.

Official Government Documents

Police reports or court records that support the asylum seeker's claims can verify the authenticity of the persecution they have faced. These documents add an official dimension to the asylum case, lending credibility to the asylum seeker's narrative and reinforcing the severity of the threats they are escaping.

Country Conditions Reports

Incorporating reports from reputable sources that detail the human rights situation, political climate, and social conditions in the asylum seeker's home country provides essential context for understanding the risks with which they are dealing. These reports offer objective insights into the conditions that necessitate asylum. Examples of these sources might include the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many others.

Newspaper Articles or Reports

Including articles or reports from credible media organizations that corroborate the asylum seeker's claims of persecution can further strengthen their case. Much like the country conditions reports, a media story can demonstrate that a personal experience and fear of persecution is part of a broader story unfolding in the country of origin.

We Can Help

By compiling and presenting these types of evidence and documentation, asylum seekers can significantly strengthen their case and increase their chances of a successful asylum claim. Zenith Law Firm knows how to meticulously build evidence on behalf of our clients. Our experienced attorney is ready to listen to the details of your situation and determine the best path forward.

There’s no time to lose—applicants must bring forth their asylum petition within a year of arriving in the United States.

Reach out today by calling (240) 652-2557 or by using our online contact form.