Carl Rothrock is an immigration lawyer in Fort Myers who handles asylum cases. Asylum is relief allowing an alien to remain in the United States under legal status because he or she has suffered past persecution in his home country or country of last habitual residence, or because he has a well-founded fear of future persecution in his home country or country of last habitual residence and such persecution is based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.
Eligibility for Asylum
- The alien must prove that he/she has suffered past persecution or because he/she has a well-founded fear of future persecution in his/her native country.
- An alien shall be found eligible for asylum on the grounds of past persecution if he/she can establish that he/she has suffered persecution in the past in his/her country of nationality or last habitual residence on the basis of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and that he/she is unable or unwilling to return to or avail himself/herself of the protection of that country owing to such persecution.
- An alien shall be found to have a well-founded fear of persecution if he/she can establish, first, that he/she has a fear of persecution in his/her country of nationality or last habitual residence on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; second, that there is a reasonable possibility of suffering such persecution if he/she were to return to that country; and third, that he/she is unable or unwilling to return to or avail himself/herself of the protection of that country because of such fear.
- The Petition for Asylum may be filed at any time that the alien is physically present in the United States. The alien may file the application whether he is in legal status or not. The application may be filed affirmatively to seek asylum at any time that the alien is not in removal proceedings or while in removal proceedings as a defensive measure against such proceedings.
- Unless an exception exists, the Petition for Asylum must be filed no later than one year after the alien’s entry into the United States.
Benefits of Asylum
- An alien who is granted asylum may reside in the United States indefinitely as long as the threat of persecution continues.
- The asylee can also have his or her spouse and unmarried children under age 21 enter the U.S. if they are not already in the country.
- An asylum applicant whose application is pending may apply for employment authorization 150 days after a completed Form I-589 application has been filed.
- The asylee and the asylee’s spouse and children may petition for an adjustment of status to become permanent residents.