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When Can Immigrants Qualify for Refugee Status or Asylum Protections?

 Posted on February 18, 2022 in Immigration

Orlando immigration asylum attorneyThere are many reasons why people around the world may need to flee their home countries and determine how they and their families will be able to live where they will be safe from harm. Civil wars, political upheaval, criminal activity, natural disasters, and other emergencies may force people to seek safety elsewhere, including by immigrating to the United States. In these situations, people may be able to receive refugee or asylum protections, even if they would not otherwise qualify for immigration. By understanding when these types of protections are available, those who are looking to escape dangerous situations and begin a new life in a safe country can take steps to apply for and maintain a lawful status in the U.S.

Who Is Considered a Refugee?

People who are currently outside of the United States may apply for entry into the country as refugees if they meet certain qualifications. Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) defines a refugee as someone who has left their home country or the country where they most recently resided and are unable or unwilling to return to that country. A person’s reasons for their reluctance to return to their home country must be based on fear of persecution, and they will need to provide evidence that they have experienced persecution or are likely to experience persecution because of a protected status. These statuses may include their race, nationality, or religion, or because they are a member of a certain group, such as a political party or social group. A person may be disqualified from receiving refugee status if they have engaged in the persecution of others, including inciting violence, ordering reprisals, or assisting in actions against people based on their protected status.

A person who qualifies as a refugee and who has not resettled in another country may apply for entry into the United States for themselves and their immediate family members (which are generally limited to their spouse and any unmarried minor children). A person may receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) from the United Nations, the U.S. embassy in the country where a person is currently located, or certain non-governmental organizations. Some immigrants may also qualify as refugees because they are in a group designated for “special humanitarian concern” by the president of the United States or USRAP. After receiving a referral and being approved as a refugee, a person will be able to travel to the U.S., receive authorization to work, and begin the process of applying for a Green Card.

When Can a Person Apply for Asylum?

While a person may qualify as a refugee if they have fled their home country but have not yet entered the United States, some people who are currently in the U.S. may also need protections to ensure that they will not be required to return to a country where they will face persecution. If a person who has entered the U.S. meets all other criteria to be considered a refugee, they may apply for asylum. If their application is granted, they will be protected from deportation. After applying for asylum, a person may also apply for authorization to work, and if they are granted asylum, they may apply for a Green Card.

Contact Our Orlando Immigration Attorney for Humanitarian Relief

Protections against deportation can be crucial for those who are at risk of persecution or other forms of harm. At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, we help our clients understand the forms of humanitarian relief that may be available, and we work closely with them to ensure that they provide the necessary information to receive refugee or asylee status. Contact our Orange County removal defense lawyers at 407-955-5000 to set up a free consultation and learn how we can help you address matters related to immigration.






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