Asylum and related avenues of relief from removal or deportation proceedings– such as Withholding of Removal and Protection under the Convention Against Torture – are premised on a foreign national’s fear of returning to his/her home country. As codified in federal statute, the fear must be on account of the foreign national’s race, religion, political belief or social group and the danger was directed, or will be directed, by the foreign national’s home government or a group their government cannot or will not control. Success in presenting this type of defense leads to a halt to removal proceedings, and for applicants for asylum, a path to U.S. lawful permanent residence and U.S. citizenship. To gain a complete understanding of your eligibility for this type of defense in removal proceedings and obtain a realistic assessment of your chances for success in presenting this defense, contact the Law Offices of Richard Hanus and he will provide feedback that is both informative and practical.

Most often a foreign national’s application for asylum will end up being presented before the Immigration Court after an affirmative asylum application before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Asylum Office was denied and ultimately referred there due to one or more shortcomings. Other times a foreign national will end up having to defend in removal proceedings for other reasons. No matter their path to removal proceedings, a foreign national’s success in presenting an application for asylum or related relief depends on having thorough and detailed supporting documentation presented for the court’s review and making sure the applicant and any of his/her witnesses are prepared to testify on key points that may be in dispute.


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Common bases for denial of asylum or related relief include:

  • Failure to file an application for asylum within 1 year of arriving in the U.S. or qualify for an exception to the 1 year deadline (a requirement that is not applicable to those seeking the related relief of withholding of removal or Convention Against Torture/CAT)
  • Inconsistencies in applicant testimony thereby creating issues of credibility,
  • The basis of the applicant’s fear is not on account of one of the enumerated grounds e.g. applicant’s claim is more economic based or not premised in membership in a statutorily covered social group,
  • Adverse or endangering actions taken against the foreign national does not qualify as “persecution”
  • The foreign national was “firmly resettled” in a third country e.g. citizenship or the right to remain in a third country on a permanent basis OR
  • Applicant has a disqualifying criminal conviction that impacts eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal and/or protection under Convention Against Torture (CAT)

As set forth above, an application for asylum must be submitted within 1 year of arrival, although several exceptions to this requirement exist, including changed country conditions or the impact of an applicant’s physical or mental incapacity.

In many cases, where an application has been pending for an extended period, an applicant may be eligible to be issued an Employment Authorization Document for the period their case is pending.

To fully understand your options with regard to presenting an asylum based claim for relief from removal proceedings, it is best to consult with experienced counsel, such as the Law Offices of Richard Hanus. By calling Richard Hanus, you will gain a clear idea of the availability and viability of an asylum based option for defending in removal proceedings.