New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

How To File For Asylum Part I

Author: Asylum lawyer Alena Shautsova

Asylum Procedure

Asylum process starts before a person’s submits his/or her application.

First, one needs to collect or try to collect the supporting documents. Those are the documents that an applicant can use to demonstrate the truth of his/her statements. It can be medical records, police records, articles from the local newspapers, affidavits from witnesses, letters; proof of membership in a particular group or political party, documents confirming activities in different organizations, and rallies, photos. The list of possible supporting documents is endless. If a person cannot present certain documents, but it is reasonable to expect such documents to exist, a person should provide an explanation as to why the documents are missing. Documents should be translated into English, even newspaper articles. The translator needs to make a statement that she/he possess sufficient knowledge of English and X (other language) and under the penalty of perjury states that the translation is accurate and complete. Translator’s signature should be notarized.

Authentication of documents for Asylum

Ideally, the official documents issued by the governmental bodies of other countries should be authenticated. It means that they should have an apostile. However, in asylee/refugee situation very often it is unpractical and impossible to submit for an authentication a document that will be used against this government later. As such, an applicant may submit the documents as is, expecting however an objection from the government, which be taken towards the “weight” of that documents.

Filling out the Asylum Forms

This step is very important as success of the whole process will depend largely on its accuracy. A person’s biographical information is the first part of the form I-589 (Available on the USCIS website). Family members, school attendance, jobs held, membership in different organizations, unions, etc.: nothing should be left out or misrepresented. It is very important to remember that children of asylees may receive derivative status if they were included in the application before they turn 21, even if subsequently they aged out. The forms should be filled out in English.

If you have immigration concerns, consult a skilled NY asylum lawyer at 917-885-2261 and find out about your options.

24 October 2012
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