A foreign national who fears returning to his or her home country may be a candidate for Asylum, Withholding of Removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
Asylum is a type of protection available to individuals who can show past persecution or fear of future persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular group, or political opinion. In most situations, an asylum seeker must file his or her application within one year of arriving in the United States. If a person is granted asylum, the person and his or her family (spouse and minor children) will be allowed to live and work in the United States. After one year, they may apply for a legal residency (“green card”).
In some situations, a person is ineligible for asylum – either because the 1-year deadline has passed, because of criminal convictions, or because the evidentiary requirements are not met. If this is the case, Withholding of Removal or CAT may still be viable options to prevent deportation.
It is important to note that Asylum, Withholding of Removal, or CAT cases are very fact-dependent. The attorneys at Ayala & Acosta can evaluate your situation and determine whether you might qualify for this type of protection.