Our firm represents applicants for political asylum in both affirmative cases before the asylum offices and defensive cases before the immigration courts. Asylum applicants must show that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country or country of last habitual residence on account of their race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or particular social group. The particular social group ground includes family groups and homosexuality. The successful applicant must show that they have suffered persecution in the past or that they have a well founded fear of future persecution in that country. If the government is not the persecutor, then it must be shown that the government is unable or unwilling to control the persecutory group.
There is a one-year filing deadline to submit an application for asylum. An applicant must file for asylum within one year of entry into the United States or within a reasonable time from the expiration of their authorized stay in the United States, usually within six months of expiration. Exceptions to the one-year filing deadline include showing extraordinary circumstances or a change in country conditions which give rise to a valid claim for asylum. If the one-year filing deadline cannot be met, it is still possible to apply for withholding of removal or for relief under the convention against torture. These forms of relief require an applicant to meet a higher standard of proof in making a successful claim.