There is a famous poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty welcoming those who face hardship abroad as immigrants to the United States of America. The country continues to uphold that promise to foreign nationals by granting asylum or refugee status to those fleeing war or persecution.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will allow some people in dire circumstances to enter the country as refugees. Others already present in the country can apply for asylum. Who is potentially eligible for special consideration as an asylee or refugee?
There are special programs for those facing persecution
According to federal policy, an individual who has had to flee their country of nationality and who believes that they will face persecution if they return is a refugee. The United States is one of many countries that will assist in international efforts to rehome and support refugees who cannot return to the country where they have long lived because they believe they will be mistreated because of their political opinion, religion, nationality or race.
Refugees typically apply for entry into the United States while in another country and are then able to secure green cards and employment opportunities when they enter the country. They can secure a green card and may be able to live here for the rest of their lives.
Asylees take a different approach, but the standards are the same. For someone to qualify for asylum, they must have a credible reason to believe they will face persecution if they return home. The difference is that they apply for USCIS consideration after already entering the United States. They may also eventually qualify for a green card and can receive certain forms of social support in addition to permission to work while living in the United States.
Special immigration applications require professional support
Applying for a visa on your own could mean long delays because of simple, preventable mistakes. Those applying for refugee status or Asylum often have a lengthy process ahead of them. Especially when there is a language barrier, it can be very difficult for an immigrant in need of protection to make a case on their own behalf. Partnering with an immigration attorney can help those who believe they qualify for refugee status or asylum.