As a person in need, you may be looking for asylum in the United States. Are you an immigrant facing persecution, discrimination, torture, war or other difficulties in your home country? You may be able to find a haven in the US. But what any specialized immigration attorney will tell you, things are not always easy. Basically, the type of protection offered, and the length of time it lasts will vary based on different factors. Below are a few categories of people who can quality and a summary of the requirements for obtaining asylum on US territory.
- TPS or Short-Term Protections for Visitors Whose Countries Face Wars and Disasters
Temporary Protected Status, otherwise known as TPS is a temporary immigration status awarded to people who happen to be in the United States during a period when their home country becomes unsafe for return. You should know that according to US immigration laws, you can only apply for TPS in certain situations. This is basically after your country or region was placed on a special TPS list which is usually updated by the Homeland Security Secretary of State.
So what are the particular situations that can quality? Generally, TPS-designated countries/areas are deemed so because of an armed conflict, civil war, natural disaster, or environmental disaster. One thing you should keep in mind is that TPS status does not help people living in the affected countries to come to the United States. You must have already been here, staying with either legal or illegal immigrant status, for a certain period of time in order to qualify.
- Protection against Persecution
If you are from a country where you have been a victim of persecution, or you have a legitimate fear of being persecuted in case you return to that country, you may decide to seek refugee protection from the U.S. This can happen in two different ways: if you are currently overseas- and in this case you will be receiving protection, or if you are currently living in the US, and in this case you can ask for asylum. You will require help from an immigration attorney as typically, the criteria for these protections are very strict.
To establish eligibility for asylum or refugee status, you must prove you are either the victim of past persecution or you have a well-founded fear of future persecution. In the case of past persecution, you must prove that you were persecuted in your home country or last country of residence.
The persecution must have been based on: race, religion, political views, nationality or just membership in a particular social group.
- NACARA 203 Protection
If you are an applicant living in the US for the past 7 years, you may be entitled to a form of relief from deportation or removal called “suspension of deportation”. This is basically applied to certain applicants who fit into special categories based on their country of origin and other criteria, to apply for U.S. residence. Contact an immigration lawyer for more details on this, as laws are very intricate and your particular details are very important in this case.
- Protection Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
As a woman, you have one more chance to obtain asylum in the US. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed in 2005, gives battered spouses the right to self-petition and handle their own immigration applications.
No matter what your general situation is, you may contact a specialized immigration attorney and find out if your particular circumstances allow you to get protected status in the US.