Political asylum

Political asylum is a special legal status for a person whose freedoms have been violated: a person has been persecuted in the territory of his native state. If the actions of a person, according to well-known norms of international law, are not criminal or offensive, then he can receive both protection and support already in another state. Examples of persecution include actions that are caused by such factors:

opinion on the policy of the state, asylum, and activities, in connection with political beliefs;

a religion of the person;

attitude to the social group;

belonging to race and nationality;

unconventional sexual orientation.

Political asylum is a process

The process of obtaining political asylum is a complex of certain actions, which involves several stages. To begin with is necessary to collect and provide the competent authorities with a package of documents, namely, to file a request with the US Immigration Service. Getting American political asylum can become quite a lengthy process and take several years because it will be necessary to provide serious evidence of infringement of rights or unsafe staying in the territory of their homeland.

The primary requirements for granting asylum are:

Finding no more than a year in the US. If the period of stay is exceeded, it is necessary to provide evidence of the impossibility of timely filing a petition for political asylum or the insecurity of return.

Hit directly to the US territory, without visiting other countries along the route. Otherwise, it will be necessary to provide evidence of its non-return to other countries, for obtaining a special status.

Collection of documents, registration of all appropriate forms and applications.

Political asylum will not be submitted if the competent body decides that the applicant is a potential threat.

The reason for being in the US is not important, that is, even if the applicant is an illegal immigrant, he cannot be deported before the application is considered.

When applying to the US Migration Service, Form I-589 is filled out. It indicates all the reasons for possible fears about returning to their home country, and also grounds for believing that persecution has been committed against the individual. Also, it will be necessary to gather evidence in support of their statements. This can be any information that confirms harassment by the government or third parties. Also – evidence regarding the failure to assist their state or its inefficiency.

The necessary documents can be considered:

documents from medical institutions (if physical damage was caused);

documents confirming the opening of criminal proceedings;

articles or notes from local newspapers;

testimony of eyewitnesses;

letters that pose a threat to life.

If in this particular case the restriction of rights and freedoms or prosecutions having political implication is considered, then documents confirming belonging to any political party or membership in the organization, participation in mass meetings, protests, and so on should be submitted.

One of the important circumstances is the complete translation of all documents (including newspaper articles) into English. At the same time, to the package of documents, an interpreter’s application for sufficient knowledge of the English language must be enclosed, notarized. Also, all official documents (which were issued by the competent authorities of another state) must be certified by a notary.


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Michelle Hill

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