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Can You Apply for Asylum in the U.S. While Living Abroad?

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Many who seek refuge from their home countries want to find another place to live where they will be free from persecution. Many want to seek asylum in the United States because they know they will be safe, and they will have opportunities to rebuild their lives. However, seeking asylum to the U.S. can be complex, especially if you are trying to get asylum while abroad. Our Miami immigration attorneys explain if you can apply for asylum while residing outside the U.S.

Applying for Asylum While Living Outside the U.S.

Unfortunately, you cannot apply for asylum outside the U.S. In order to apply for asylum, you need to already be in the U.S. or at a border entry point (border checkpoints in Canada, Mexico, airports, or seaports). There is only one way in which an individual can apply for asylum outside their country of origin, and it is through The UN Refugee Agency. However, you won’t be able to choose which country you want to obtain asylum visa from.

Before applying for asylum in this way, you must be able to prove that you are indeed in need of asylum. There are five legal grounds on which someone is eligible to seek asylum.

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a particular social group

Political Opinion

Political opinion is when an individual holds an opinion that the authorities of their country do not tolerate. This usually includes being critical of the government’s policies or methods. There would have to be proof that the government knows about those specific opinions; otherwise, there would be no grounds for authorities to punish that person.

Membership in a Particular Social Group

This category refers to a group that shares a common characteristic that is so fundamental to their identities that the members are unable to refute it. These include tribes or ethnic groups, family members of dissidents (someone who opposes government policies), the LGBTQ+ community, as well as former members of the police or military.

Applying for Asylum

Due to the spread of COVID-19, the Presidential Administration has put a number of new restrictions on the borders entering the United States. This means that it is near impossible to enter and apply for asylum in the U.S. at the current moment.

There is, however, one other option. If you are able to qualify as a refugee and come under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, you may be eligible to be placed in the United States, but there is no guarantee.

Contact Our Miami Immigration Attorneys Today!

If you currently reside in the U.S. and you’ve been in the U.S. for less than a year, and you left your country due to fear of persecution, you may be eligible for asylum. At Revilla Law Firm, P.A., we understand the complexities that immigration law holds, and are ready to use our experience to help you succeed. You don’t have to bear the burden of finally finding safety on your own.

If you are in need of political asylum, give us a call at , or contact us through our website!

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