Massachusetts Asylum Lawyer
America offers many freedoms and opportunities that are unthinkable in many other countries. Whether you have just arrived in the United States or have lived here for a few weeks or months, it can be frightening to imagine returning to a home of fighting and persecution. Contact our Springfield, Massachusetts, law firm to speak with an asylum lawyer.
Asylum -- Protect Your Ability to Remain in the United States
It is possible to request asylum (or refugee status) regardless of immigration status. Even immigrants who are in the United States illegally may request asylum. However, if asylum is not granted, the illegal immigrant will be referred to the immigration court for removal proceedings. Immigration and asylum lawyer, John P. McKenna can help clients understand asylum requirements and help them seek asylum status to stay in the United States.
Guidelines for requesting asylum involve:
- An immigrant must prove persecution in his or her home country based on race, religion, gender, national origin, social group membership, or other class status, OR a substantiated fear of such persecution if he or she returned
- Asylum must be requested within one year of coming to the United States
- If asylum is requested outside of one year, extreme circumstances or extreme changes in the home country must be proved
- Asylum may be used as a defense during removal proceedings following criminal charges
- Asylum may be denied an applicant convicted of a serious criminal act or terrorist act
If an immigrant is granted asylum, his or her immigration status will change to asylee status. This will enable the individual to remain in the United States indefinitely (unless asylum is terminated), to obtain a social security card, and to work legally in the United States. In addition, the individual may request that a spouse and unmarried children under 21 (who are in the United States or who are still in their home country) also be granted asylum under the granted petition.
Helping Asylum Seekers in Western Massachusetts
To learn more about asylum or political asylum and how the Law Offices of John P. McKenna can help, contact immigration and asylum attorney John P. McKenna today.
Springfield Immigration Lawyer
Massachusetts Asylum Attorney