The prospect of deportation from the United States may frighten you, but it could be even worse if you fear going back to your country of origin. Some countries deprive their citizens of basic human rights. This is why the United States has asylum laws to allow immigrants to enter the United States to escape persecution.
In the event an immigration judge decides you are eligible for removal from the U.S., you may seek to change your status so you can stay in the country. In some situations, you might qualify for asylum.
Applying regardless of status
First, be aware that your immigration status should not prevent you from applying for asylum. According to FindLaw, an immigrant seeking asylum did not have to come to the United States using legal means. If you are an undocumented immigrant, you may still apply for asylum status.
Meeting time requirements to apply
Keep in mind that time is a factor if you seek asylum. If you have resided in the United States for more than a year, the U.S. government is unlikely to grant you asylum. You will have to prove that the situation in your country of origin has changed and that your life would be in danger if you went back.
General requirements for asylum
To qualify for asylum, you must make the case that your country would persecute you if you returned there. You may hold political opinions that are unpopular with your home country’s government, or the government persecutes people of your religion, race, nationality, or your specific social group.
Be sure that you have a good chance of meeting U.S. government requirements for asylum. Otherwise, the government may believe you are abusing the asylum process if your case is weak. This could result in the U.S. barring you from immigrating to the country. There may be other options that better fit your situation.