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Asylee protection is an extremely important part of the fabric of the United States of America's immigration law. The country has generally - except for a few times in history - been deeply invested in the protection of individuals seeking asylum, or protection from persecution from their own home country. However, asylum is one of the most difficult types of immigration cases to win, with an over 71% denial rate in 2020. It’s even higher in many cities, including Miami, Florida. In order to have the best chances for approval, hiring an asylum lawyer is a prudent idea.
What is an Asylum Lawyer, and why do I need one?
An Asylum Lawyer or Asylum Attorney is a lawyer that specializes in immigration law, and in particular, asylum cases. A lawyer is extremely important for the representation of asylum applicants, considering asylum law is one of the most complex areas of immigration law, and the overwhelming majority of asylum cases in the United States are rejected or denied. Only one third of asylum seekers have an attorney, and it has been proven that those with legal representation have at least five times higher chances of success in their case than those who apply without a lawyer.
What is Asylum, and how do I qualify?
Asylum is a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or arriving at the border who meet the international law definition of a “refugee.” This is defined as a person who is “unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future ‘on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’” Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in 1980.
The eligibility criterion for the definition above is very complex and difficult to understand. Moreover, proving your case and that persecution by the government or someone controlled by it will be imminent is not easy. An asylum lawyer has the knowledge required to prove with evidence and testimony that you meet the definition as a refugee to receive asylum. These lawyers are well-versed in the daily changes made to the laws and the country conditions in your country.
What is the Process to Apply for Asylum with a Lawyer?
The process of hiring an asylum lawyer is similar to hiring any other type of immigration lawyer. Here's an overview of the process.
1) Hire a Lawyer
The first step is to find the right lawyer. The best option is to search for asylum lawyers near you who have positive reviews on various platforms online, and then schedule a consultation to speak with that lawyer. Asylum lawyers are NOT all the same, and even if they say they are offering the same service, the quality of what you get at the “cheapest” law firm will not be the same as what you can get at an experienced asylum lawyer’s office, who also has positive reviews by previous clients. Spend some time researching, and once you have found the asylum lawyer with the best reviews who has the experience to help you with your case, go ahead and schedule a consultation with them. Most asylum lawyers charge a fee for the consultation, but ask them if they are able to apply this fee towards your asylum case.
At the consultation, the asylum lawyer will make sure you qualify, go over the cost and the evidence you will need in your case. An experienced asylum lawyer will walk you through the complex case to make sure you have everything you need to start the asylum process and tell you honestly what are your chances for an approval.
2) Bring Correct Paperwork to Lawyer
Once you hire the asylum lawyer, he or she will send you a checklist of evidence that they need you to gather to send them. Because asylum law is so case specific, your asylum lawyer will also work with you to come up with a detailed checklist of all the documents and evidence that they will need to give your case the best chance for success. Your asylum lawyer will give you a date to bring this evidence or send it back to him or her, but send it back sooner if you can – then your case can be mailed out sooner! Keep in mind that if your case is in immigration court or before USCIS there are strict filing deadlines that you CANNOT miss in order for your case to be considered.
3) Fill Out Questionnaire to Lawyer
Your asylum lawyer has a questionnaire specific to your case ready to send you that will aid in the preparation of your case. The asylum lawyer needs this questionnaire filled out to completion to the best of your ability with the correct information to avoid any errors, rejections, or problems with your case down the road. Please research the information you fill in and compare it to any answers you may have given to immigration previously in a Credible Fear Interview or elsewhere before you fill out the questionnaire to ensure your application is honest and cohesive with your evidence.
4) Review and Sign Forms
Once you have filled out the questionnaire, the asylum lawyer and her staff can transfer your information, rewording it if necessary to strengthen your case, to fill out the appropriate immigration forms for you. The team will send you a draft of this form to review and make sure that all the information reflected is fully accurate and error free. Once you have approved the drafts of the forms, you can sign the application. Now, assuming the asylum lawyer also already has your asylum evidence from the checklist, she can now mail out your asylum application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or Executive Office for Immigration Review (Immigration Court) for processing.
5) Wait for Interview with Lawyer to Attend
The process and wait time to get scheduled for an interview depends on whether you are filing asylum affirmatively before USCIS or defensively before the immigration judge. Your asylum lawyer will give you an estimate of how long you will have to wait for your final asylum interview and how to prepare for the interview.
When you are close to your interview, a good asylum lawyer in Miami, Florida will schedule a time to meet with you to have a mock asylum interview to help prepare you. Take this mock interview and the tips the asylum lawyer gives you very seriously. The lawyer is unable to speak for you at the interview - you need to know your story inside and out in order to answer the asylum officer or judge’s questions successfully.
How Can an Asylum Lawyer Help?
An asylum lawyer in Miami, Florida, knows exactly what to do to prove your case under the law. She will tell you what evidence to get if you don’t already have it and who needs to write letters to corroborate information for which you don’t have any hard evidence. In most cases, your asylum lawyer will also prepare an Asylum Legal Brief, which explains in great detail, citing the complex and ever-changing immigration law, how you qualify for asylum. A good asylum attorney can also make sure that all of your evidence and statements, including those made previously to immigration authorities, all matches up. Finally, an experienced asylum lawyer can prepare you for the interview or final court hearing, which is the interview that makes or breaks whether you are granted asylum protection. Again, those who have an asylum lawyer have 5 times more likelihood of success on their asylum application than a person who applies without a lawyer. Since asylum is already so difficult to win, you must maximize your chances of success!
Hire the Top Asylum Lawyers in Miami, Florida!
Now that you know why having an experienced asylum attorney is necessary, it’s time to hire one at Immigration Lawyers USA! We have some of the best immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida and in the United States. We're highly experienced in asylum law and will fight hard to make your case as strong as possible with our close attention to detail and our over 10 years of experience. If you're looking for a firm with great reviews that can guide you through the process to become an asylee, give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us below: