An immigrant comes to the U.S. seeking asylum can qualify if he or she has suffered persecution or a reasonable fear of future persecution due to his or her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. A successful grant of asylum can allow an immigrant to remain in the U.S., even if he or she is currently present in the U.S. with no legal status. You must apply for asylum within one year of arriving in the U.S. Probably the most common reason for seeking asylum is to avoid deportation. If you have been in the U.S. for less than one year and have no legal status, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins deportation proceedings against you, asylum essentially can become a defense to deportation. It is not unusual for an immigrant in this situation to raise all potential defenses to deportation, including an asylum claim. One benefit to applying for asylum is that you may be able to obtain work authorization while your asylum claim is pending. If it has been more than 150 days since you filed an application for asylum, you can seek work authorization, which can allow you to provide for your family while you are waiting for a decision on your asylum claim. Asylum also serves as a path to U.S. citizenship. If your claim for asylum is successful, you can apply for permanent resident status, or a green card, after you have been granted asylum for one year. Therefore, asylum is a means of gaining access to eventual citizenship. We are the California deportation defense lawyers whom you can turn to if you or a loved one are facing deportation proceedings, no matter what the reason may be. Regardless of the complexity or difficulty of the situation, or whether you are seeking humanitarian relief such as asylum or another form of relief, Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. has the experience, knowledge, and skills to advocate on behalf of you and your family throughout the course of any deportation proceedings. Contact our office today and let us answer all of your questions about any aspect of deportation proceedings.