Asylum is a legal process that allows the asylum seeker to gain legal residency status in the United States if certain requirements are met under immigration law. There are a variety of different grounds for asylum to be granted that asylum seekers should be aware of.
Asylum seekers are typically already in the United States. Asylum is evaluated on a case-by-case basis which is why it is important for asylum seekers to make a strong petition for asylum when seeking asylum. If a petition for asylum is approved, the asylum seeker who is already on U.S. soil will be allowed to remain on U.S. soil.
Asylum may be granted based on the asylum seeker’s fear of persecution upon returning to their country of origin based on:
- Membership in a social group; or
- Political opinion.
In addition, asylum may be granted based on grounds of domestic violence. In general, the asylum seeker should still be married to the abusive spouse when seeking asylum based on the grounds of domestic violence but if they are not, they must meet certain requirements for asylum based on domestic violence if they are not still married to the abusive spouse including:
- The asylum-seeking spouse believed they were legally married to their abusive spouse but were not solely because of the abusive spouse’s bigamy;
- The abusive spouse lost or renounced citizenship or lawful resident status because of a domestic violence incident;
- The abusive spouse died within 2 years of the asylum seeker’s asylum petition;
- There is a connection between the termination of the asylum seeker’s marriage and the abusive spouse’s abuse when the marriage was terminated 2 years prior to the filing of the petition.
Asylum is an important legal process for asylum seekers who find themselves in many different uncertain situations. As a result, asylum seekers need to be familiar with the different grounds for asylum and the process for petitioning for asylum.