Asylum / Refugee Status


If you are afraid to return to your country because you believe you will be killed, persecuted, tortured or harmed based on political affiliation, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or membership in a particular social group, you may be able to file an I-589 application for asylum. This option may be available to you even if you have been convicted of certain crimes or have an outstanding order of deportation. We have successfully represented hundreds of clients from all over the world including transgender individuals, government informants, people who have suffered religious persecution, and many others. Most recently, we have represented refugees from Syria, Lebanon, Eritrea, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Cameroon, and Guatemala, just to name a few.

If you are able to show that you will be persecuted, harmed, or tortured if you are returned to your country, you may be eligible to receive lawful status in the United States.


For individuals and their families who are fleeing persecution, or for those who are escaping their countries as the result of life-threatening conditions, there are several avenues of relief in the United States.


Refugees are individuals who are unable to return to their home country because they have a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, nationality, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, or religion. Refugees apply for admission when they are outside of the United States. Typically, a refugee flees their home country and enters into a “transition country” (a country in which they do not plan to remain but must reside temporarily) and then applies for refugee status in the United States. Whether or not a person is admitted into the United States as a refugee is dependent on several factors including, but not limited to, the level of risk they face, whether they are a member of a group that is of “special concern” to the United States, whether or not they have family members in the United States, and what region of the world they came from.


Individuals who are already in the United States, or are at a port of entry to the United States, and who are afraid to return to their home country, may apply for asylum under certain conditions. Generally, an applicant for asylum must apply for asylum within a year of his arrival, subject to certain exceptions. Moreover, they must establish a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based on their political opinion, religion, membership in a particular social group, race, or nationality. If the individual has already suffered past persecution based on one of these grounds, there is a rebuttable presumption of future persecution. For example, if an individual is a particular religion that is disliked by the government of their home country, and the individual is jailed, beaten, or otherwise punished by the government simply because of his religion, asylum would be a lucrative option.


There are many countries which have been designated by the United States government as being too dangerous for its citizens to return. The reasons for this designation are widely varied. It could be because the country is ravaged by civil war, suffering from the fallout of natural disasters, or any other humanitarian reason that Congress designates. Currently, the countries designated by Congress are El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Of course, any country may be designated at any time depending on the country conditions. Contact our Immigration Lawyers for assistance with TPS.