Asylum & Deportation Proceedings

Many people come to the United States with tourist or other visas with the intention of applying for political asylum for various reasons, whether political, economic or other reason.

Applications for political asylum must be received by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before being present in the U.S. for 1 year. Following applying for political asylum, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview at the local asylum office. If the application is approved, the applicant (and spouse and minor children who are also present in the U.S.) qualify to apply for lawful permanent residence after one year from the date of approval.

The majority of applications are not approved by USCIS and, if the applicant’s legal stay (as stated on Form I-94) has already expired, the applicant are placed in removal (deportation) proceedings before the local Immigration Court. Therefore, before considering applying for political asylum, consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney to weigh and properly consider the risks. Most applications for political asylum with the Immigration Judge are likewise denied and risk being physically deported to the country from which they are fleeing.

Lawful permanent residents as well as those who enter the U.S. with a visa or illegally are subject to removal (deportation) proceedings. The most common charge is for overstaying the initial stay or for entering without a valid visa.

Some people qualify to apply for relief (for example, qualify to apply for permanent residence through marriage to a U.S. Citizen spouse or a U.S. Citizen child over the age of 21) while others have no form of relief except accepting an order of deportation or perhaps a voluntary departure.

For those who enter the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), there is no right to a hearing before an Immigration Judge and are subject to being issued an order of removal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), arrested, detained and eventually removed.

Lawful permanent residents are typically placed in removal (deportation) proceedings for being convicted of certain criminal offenses, although charges of committing fraud are also common. Removal proceedings for permanent residents commence in 3 ways: (1) returning from a trip abroad; (2) at the biometrics (fingerprint) appointment while applying to renew the lawful permanent resident card (or “Green Card”); or (3) upon denial of an application for naturalization.

Removal proceedings require a thorough consultation with an experienced Immigration Attorney and representation during the proceedings.