Noncitizens who were subject to persecution, or fear they will be persecuted, in their home country have the right to apply for asylum. This means they must convince an immigration hearing officer or judge that they suffered serious harm or would suffer serious harm if they return home.

Begin the application process by filing a Form I-589. The form does not have much space to present your story, but you can attach additional pages, simply by writing “see attached sheets.” The attached statement is where you present the details that demonstrate that your fears are valid. Explain your story carefully in writing, with names, dates, places, and other details. If you have any documentation from your home country that is ideal, but it is also rare. Even so, assemble any written evidence that you may be able to obtain.

Be prepared to answer questions truthfully. If the answers do not match your written statement closely the immigration hearing officer or judge may doubt your word. Read over your statement several times before you submit it. This can help you remember more about what happened. You can find additional information about applying for asylum here.

You can submit your application and attend the hearing on your own, but you should consider working with an immigration lawyer. He or she can help you prepare your statement and advocate on your behalf. The immigration officers are on the watch for people who do not have a valid case for asylum, and any misunderstanding can hurt your chances. Asylum may be your best defense against getting deported, so you must make the most compelling case possible.

The process of applying for asylum is not easy. An experienced immigration attorney from Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. can help you prepare your case for the best possible outcome. Please call us at (510) 756-4468 to schedule a legal consultation.