Political Asylum in the U.S. may be an option. Asylum is a form of protection available and legal status in the U.S. to those who come to the U.S. because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Generally, LGBT asylum cases are based on membership in a particular social group and/or political opinion. Until recently, there were few cases that set precedent for LGBT based asylum. In Matter of Toboso-Alfonso, a decision from 1990, sexual orientation was established as “membership in a particular social group” and paved the way for asylum based on sexual orientation.
After your asylum case has been pending for a certain amount of time, you could also be eligible for work authorization, which provides a way to obtain a US social security number and driver’s license. If your asylum application is ultimately approved, you may be able to apply for permanent residency in the U.S. Besides asylum, other forms of relief including Withholding of Removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) if you believe, for instance, that you will be tortured by the police if you return to your home country, may also protect you.
Pursuing asylum can be difficult because of the timelines involved, the extensive amount of detail that goes into explaining why you are unable to return to your home country, documenting you are LGBTQ when witnesses are afraid to come forward, and you have often fled for your safety with no way to bring documentation and proof with you from your home country. Even if you have a strong case for asylum, it can be difficult to present it in the right way to show you truly cannot return to your country. Our attorneys have experience working with clients with challenging asylum cases due to lack of proof and witnesses. We will help you strategize on evidence and help you think outside the box. We also get that it’s hard to talk about what’s happened to you. We regularly work with survivors with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Panic Disorder who have difficulty recounting events accurately and easily get overwhelmed at the thought of going to court. Let us help you present your story in the most direct and compelling way possible and help you focus your efforts. We understand that you have unique issues that you are experiencing and will be there with you every step of the way.
At SGG, we have successfully represented individuals from countries all over the world in winning Asylum, Withholding of Removal and Convention Against Torture cases and they are on their way to becoming permanent residents and U.S. citizens. We also file appeals for those who had judges that were either not sensitive or outright offensive to treating our LGBT client, arbitrarily and unfairly denied admission of evidence or witness testimony, and applied the law in an unfair and unjust manner.
Call us now because asylum has very strict deadlines. You must usually file for asylum within one year of arriving to the U.S.