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Types of Asylum Application Decisions

The asylum process in the United States offers a safe haven to those facing violence or persecution in their home countries. However, just because you apply for asylum does not guarantee approval. It is critical to keep in mind that there are a number of different decisions you may receive from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in response to your asylum application. In this brief article, we will review some of the most common types of decisions as well as their implications. Knowing what to expect can help you and your loved ones effectively manage the ups and downs of the asylum application process. 

Grant of Asylum

If you are looking to receive asylum status in the United States, grant of asylum is the best possible decision you could receive regarding your asylum application. This decision is made when the asylum seeker is deemed to meet the criteria for refugee status as defined by the receiving country's laws and international conventions. As a result, they are granted asylum and the right to stay in the country. Asylum status approval in the United States covers you as the main applicant and can also apply to your dependents, including your spouse and minor children. It should be noted that after one year of holding asylum status, individuals are eligible to apply for a green card. Generally, if you have recently been granted asylum, it is highly advised to reach out to an experienced immigration attorney to understand your next steps.

Denial of Asylum

Unfortunately, not all asylum applications lead to a grant of asylum. In certain circumstances, your asylum application may be denied by the USCIS. This generally occurs when the applicant has not been able to demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution or other grounds for asylum under the applicable laws. In such cases, the individual may be required to leave the country or may be subject to deportation proceedings. If you have a valid U.S. visa, such as a work or student visa, at the time of denial of asylum, you may be able to stay in the United States without access to asylum benefits. Nevertheless, if you are unlawfully present in the U.S. at the time of your denial, you may be subject to expedited removal proceedings. In these cases, you will be able to present your ase to the immigration court which will ultimately assess your asylum claims. 

Remember that even if your asylum application is denied, you may still have options available to you. A professional immigration attorney will be able to give you personalized support regarding your specific case.

Notice of Intent to Deny

If you are found ineligible for asylum by the USCIS, you will be sent a Notice of Intent to Deny. This means that your asylum application currently falls short of the required standard. Following receipt of the notice, you will have 16 days to provide a response. This gives you the opportunity to address any issues or discrepancies that may have come up in your application. After your response, the asylum officer handling your case will consider your reply and choose to either approve or deny your asylum claim. When responding to the notice of intent to deny your asylum application, getting help from an experienced immigration lawyer can be very useful, as your attorney can help you figure out what evidence to include to support your case.

Referral to an Immigration Court

The USCIS may refer your case to an immigration court from the get-go if you are in the United States illegally and if your asylum application cannot be approved. The referral will include your spouse and any unmarried children under 21 if they were included in your asylum application and are in the U.S. illegally. Keep in mind that a denial of asylum is not the same thing as a referral to an immigration court. A denial means that USCIS has determined that you do not meet the criteria for asylum based on the evidence provided. However, a referral to an immigration court means that your case will be heard by an immigration judge, who will make an independent decision on your asylum claim. When your case makes it to the immigration judge, he or she is not required to rely on or follow any decisions made previously by the USCIS. 

Bottom Line

In summary, understanding the various types of asylum application decisions is crucial for anyone seeking protection in the United States. While navigating the process and its decisions can seem overwhelming, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. At Attorney At Law, our knowledgeable immigration lawyers are committed to helping asylum-seekers throughout the entire process. If you need help with your asylum application or have received a decision and don't know what to do next, please reach out to us for a consultation.

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