New Jersey Asylum, withholding of removal, Refugee, & TPS Status
Turn to a Practiced Asylum Attorney in New Jersey
Practicing since 1987, The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. has the resources, knowledge, and skills necessary to achieve your goals. Our immigration lawyer in New Jersey has helped over 10,000 immigrants with their immigration matters. We are committed to providing you with thorough and detail-oriented legal services, and we promise to begin working on your case to achieve those goals as quickly as possible. We will always respond to your questions or concerns. In addition, we will keep you informed and educated about your case every step of the way.
Call (800) 909-8129 to schedule a case evaluation with a New Jersey asylum and refugee status lawyer today. A contact us form is also available.
How to Qualify For Asylum
People who are unable or unwilling to return to their country of last residence fall into the category of refugees or political asylum seekers. People normally seek asylum or refugee status because of past persecution, or because they have reason to fear that there will be future persecution from their government or groups that the government is unable or unwilling to control. If you are currently outside the United States, then you would seek refugee protection. If you are already in the U.S., then you would seek asylum.
What Counts as Persecution?
Immigration law does not specify what acts are considered to be persecution except for in matters where the individual fears a "coercive population control program". Persecution is when harm or serious threats to one's life are made and the severity of the threats cannot be avoided simply by moving to another part of the country. The threat would be nationwide for the individual.
Common examples of persecution are:
- Death Threats
- Discrimination (involving housing, education, even passport issuance, etc.)
- Interference with Privacy
- Unfair Detention
If you have not experienced persecution recently, you may still qualify for political asylum or refugee status. You only need to have a genuine fear of future persecution in your last country of residence.
How Do I Apply For Asylum?
Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
Asylum applicants have no quota, nor is there a need for a financial sponsor. To apply for asylum, the applicant may be inside or attempting to enter the United States. If an application for asylum is made upon entry to the United States, at the border there will be a credible fear interview to determine initial eligibility for asylum. The asylum seeker must show that they have a "well founded fear" of future persecution in their home country which the Supreme Court has defined as a 10% chance of that the person would be persecuted on account of a protected ground if they were to be deported. If the applicant passes the interview, the case will proceed through the Immigration Court. If the applicant is already inside the US and not in removal proceedings, an asylum application can be filed with USCIS if filed within one year of enter and the case will proceed through the asylum office. If the application is denied, you will be placed into removal proceedings before the Immigration Court.
You may include your spouse and children who are in the United States on your application at the time you file or at any time until a final decision is made in the case. If you are granted asylum, you may petition to bring your spouse and children from abroad. To include your child on your application, the child must be under 21 and unmarried.
Once an asylum application has been filed and pending for 365 days an applicant may apply for a work permit. One year after an asylum grant, the applicant is eligible for a green card.
As of April 1, 1997, the following adjustments have been made to the application of Political Asylum:
- They must be filed within one year of entry to the United States.
- Applicants are also subject to a second interview.
- Work authorization will be granted if the asylum application is approved.
- After one year, those granted asylum may apply for Lawful Permanent Residency and citizenship thereafter.
What is Withholding of Removal
Withholding of removal is similar to Asylum but has a higher threshold to be granted. People applying for withholding must demonstrate it is "more likely than not" that they would be persecuted in their home country if forced to return, unless they can prove that they have suffered persecution on account of a protected ground in the past. There must be a greater than 50% chance of persecution. Withholding is typically available to those who do not qualify for asylum such as those with prior Orders of Removal and can only be granted by an immigration Judge at the conclusion of a hearing. A person granted withholding can stay in the US after a Judge issues a removal order. The removal is "withheld" however the government can still deport the person to a third country if that country agrees to accept them. It does not offer a path to permanent residency and does not allow those granted withholding to bring family members to the US. A person granted withholding cannot apply for citizenship. A grant of withholding is subject to revocation anytime.
How Can I Apply for Refugee Status?
To apply for refugee status, one must:
- Physically be outside the United States
- Undergo a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interview to determine their eligibility as refugees
- Have a financial sponsor inside the United States who will pay the cost of travel to this country and support the refugee once he or she has arrived
The number of foreign nationals able to achieve refugee status is unfortunately set by the U.S government, and it cannot be exceeded.
How Can I Apply for TPS Status?
To be eligible for TPS, you must:
- Be a national of a country designated for TPS, or a person without nationality who last resided in the designated country
- File during the open initial registration or re-registration period, or you meet the requirements for late initial filing during any extension of your country’s TPS designation
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the most recent designation date of your country
- Have been continuously residing in the United States since the date specified for your country
You may NOT be eligible for TPS or to maintain your existing TPS if you:
- Have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States
- Are found inadmissible as an immigrant
- Are subject to any of the mandatory bars to asylum
- Fail to meet the continuous physical presence and continuous residence in the United States requirements
- Fail to meet initial or late initial TPS registration requirements
- If granted TPS, you fail to re-register for TPS, as required, without good cause
I have TPS—Can I Be Deported?
Temporary Protective Status (TPS) is a form of humanitarian relief designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security which applies to nationals from certain countries who were present in the US during a designated period of time who are unable to return home due to unusual country conditions such as a large scale national disaster, or armed conflict. People granted TPS status cannot be deported from the US and can apply for work permits and travel in certain cases. For a list of designated countries see the USCIS web site.
Get Immigration Assistance from Our Team
Winning these cases has become increasingly difficult due to policies put in place by the Trump Administration over the past few years. If you would like legal advice and assistance concerning an application call our immigration law office today and schedule an initial consultation. During this time, we will review your immigration history and decide whether you qualify for any of the above benefits. Additionally, we will look at your complete immigration history along with the immigration status of your family to determine if there is another path available. Reach out to a New Jersey immigration lawyer today. We can help
Contact us with our short online form or call (800) 909-8129 to share your problems with us.
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Q:I am a fiancée of a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. How can I enter the U.S. to marry?
A:Your fiancée must apply for a Fiancée Visa, also known as the K-1 Visa. The visa is for parties who have physically met within the past two years, have an intent to marry, and can document a relationship together. The visa is only for those who are residing abroad and cannot be used if the alien is in the US. The application is filed from within the US and when approved, will be forwarded to the American Consular where the alien fiancée will apply for the visa and be interviewed by an officer - usually about 8-12 months from the date of filing.
Q:I live in the U.S. and I am marrying a U.S. citizen. How can I get a green card and become a permanent resident?
A:Assuming you have entered the US with a visa or are protected by an old law called 245i, you may be eligible to adjust status to receive a green card from within the US. If you have been illegally present for more than 6 months, you cannot travel until the green card is in hand. Current processing time is about 5-7 months.
Q:I live outside the U.S. and I married a U.S citizen. How can I come to the U.S. to live?
A:To enter the US after a marriage to a US Citizen, you would go through Consular Processing. Paperwork would be filed in the US and forwarded to the embassy abroad to schedule an interview. The processing time frame from start to finish is between 9-11 months, depending on the embassy abroad. The process is document-intensive and requires careful attention to detail.