There are two ways of applying for asylum:
- If you come to the United States in some sort of legal status, such as on a tourist visa or as a student, you can apply for affirmative asylum with USCIS.
- If you come to the U.S. border without any documents, you can tell the Border Patrol that you have a fear of returning to your home country, and you will be put through a process called defensive asylum.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BOTH TYPES OF ASYLUM:
- You must file an asylum application within one year of coming to the United States;
- You must be able to prove that you have been persecuted because of either your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Asylum is very difficult to get. We always recommend speaking with an attorney who has experience with asylum because not all immigration attorneys handle asylum cases
What we do with affirmative asylum applications filed with USCIS:
- We will meet with you and listen to what happened to you in your home country that made you want to leave. We will explain the requirements to you and tell you whether you have a good case or weak case.
- We advise you on how to present the facts in your case so as to best meet the requirements for asylum and advise you what personal evidence we need from you.
- Then we prepare a good asylum application, assemble your evidence, research and prepare country conditions reports that support the basis for your fear in your application, and write a good letter on your behalf that explains your facts and cites to asylum case law that supports your eligibility for asylum.
What we do if you are applying for asylum defensively through the Immigration Judge:
- Once you tell the Border Patrol you are scared to go back to your home country, the Border Patrol should refer you to an asylum officer for a credible fear interview.
- If you pass this interview, your case will be referred to the Immigration Judge. If you do not pass the interview, you will be deported.
- You improve your chances of passing greatly if you have your family contact an attorney who explains the law to you and is on the phone with you during your credible fear interview with the asylum officer.
- In court, we will attend all hearings and represent you in front of the Judge. We will prepare the asylum application and submit it to the court. We will also advise you what evidence we will need from your family to assist with you case, and we will prepare that and submit it to the court.
- Most importantly, because you will be in detention, which is the same thing as being in jail, we will work hard at getting you released on bond as quickly as possible. In the Ninth Circuit, which Arizona and California are part of, arriving aliens – those people asking for asylum at the border are eligible for bond in 6 months.
- If you cannot get released because your family cannot pay the bond or the Judge denies the bond, then we will work hard at preparing you for the final hearing.
- We will prepare the country conditions reports that support your claim and write a good brief that argues the law of why you should be granted asylum.
We, at the Law Offices of Alice Vacek Aranda PLLC work hard at presenting the strongest possible case for each and every asylum seeker. Alice Vacek Aranda, Esq. has a Master’s Degree in History and she has studied and understands the conditions in Latin America and Africa and other hotspots in the world.
Alice Vacek Aranda Esq. understands the complex situation in Somalia, and the relationship between inter-clan warfare and al-Shabaab, and the extreme discrimination against minority clans. She understands the persecution that non-secular people face in a sectarian world, such as in Iraq or anywhere where the relationship between religion and government is too close. She understands the competition and resulting violence between the Awami League and the Bangladesh National Party. She understands why many of the Sikhs are leaving the Punjabi region in India. She understands the clash between the Anglophone and Francophile parties in the Cameroon. Wherever there is a world “hotspot” Alice Vacek Aranda Esq. knows how to research it and present the facts in order to support a claim for asylum. Alice Vacek Aranda, Esq. understands the conditions in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and why people there are fleeing cartel violence.
Immigration law is complicated and there are many ways that the situation can go wrong. It is highly advisable that you consult with an attorney. While we have tried to explain the basic process on our website, nothing on our website should be taken as legal advice. Everybody’s situation is different and that is why it is important to speak with an attorney before filing, as a mistake could be costly.