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Refugee and Asylum Seeker Attorney

At Khalaf & Abuzir, our refugee and asylum seeker attorneys in Chicago and Dallas are committed to helping individuals who are seeking protection and a new life in the United States. Our attorneys offer personalized attention and cultural understanding to our clients, recognizing the unique challenges faced by people who are facing persecution or fear getting persecuted because of their religion, race, nationality, political opinions, or membership in a social group. We strive to secure the best possible outcome for our clients as we guide you through seeking asylum or refugee status.

Once a foreign national is permitted entry into the United States as a refugee or asylum seeker, our immigration attorneys can help with any subsequent family immigration issues or employment-based immigration needs.

Immigration lawyers Vivian Khalaf and Omar Abuzir
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    How Long Does Asylum Last?

    Asylum status in the United States does not have an expiration date. Once an individual is granted asylum, he or she can live and work in the country indefinitely, as long as the person continues to meet the criteria for asylum. Asylum is typically granted to individuals who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country due to their membership in what would be a protected status in the U.S. However, if the conditions that led to the asylum grant change, or if the individual commits certain crimes, asylum status may be subject to review, and the foreign national could lose their protected status.

    What Is the Difference Between an Asylum Seeker and a Refugee?

    The main difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee lies in the person’s location and legal status.

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    What Is an Asylum Seeker?

    An asylum seeker is an individual who is seeking protection and refugee status in a foreign country. Asylum seekers typically leave their home country due to fear of persecution, violence, or human rights abuses. Once they arrive in the United States to seek asylum, they must apply for protection and prove that they meet the criteria for asylum. During this process, they are considered asylum seekers, awaiting a decision on their application. If their application is approved, they become recognized as refugees.


    What Is a Refugee?

    A refugee, on the other hand, is an individual who has been granted asylum and official protection by a foreign country. Refugees have been through the asylum application process and have been recognized as meeting the criteria for refugee status. They are granted legal protection and allowed to reside and work in the United States. Refugees may receive additional support and assistance to help them rebuild their lives in their new home.

    What Are Valid Reasons for Asylum?

    In the United States, valid reasons for asylum are based on the fear of persecution in the individual’s home country. To be eligible for asylum, an individual must establish a well-founded fear of persecution if they were to return to their home country.

    Some common reasons that may qualify an individual for asylum include:

    1. Political Opinions: Individuals who face persecution based on their political beliefs or activities, such as advocating for democracy or human rights, may be eligible for asylum.
    2. Religious Beliefs: Persecution based on religious beliefs, including religious conversion or belonging to a minority religious group, can be a valid reason for seeking asylum.
    3. Social Group Membership: Membership in a particular social group, such as LGBTQ+ individuals or women facing gender-based violence, may also qualify for asylum protection.
    4. Ethnicity or Nationality: Individuals who face persecution based on their ethnicity or nationality may be eligible for asylum.

    Asylum seekers must provide evidence to support their claim of persecution and demonstrate that they meet the legal requirements for asylum under U.S. law. Seeking the assistance of an experienced refugee and asylum seeker attorney at Khalaf & Abuzir can significantly improve the chances of a successful asylum application.

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    Immigration lawyer Omar Abuzir
    Omar A. Abuzir
    Immigration Lawyer
    Chicago immigration lawyer Vivian Khalaf
    Vivian Khalaf
    Immigration Lawyer

    Client Testimonials

    5 stars
    “Working with the lawyers at ImmigrationJD was an experience that was unexpected. It was a breeze obtaining my permanent residency and the attorney was with me every step of the way. The process was exactly as it was explained to me at the start and there were no surprises! I highly recommend this law firm”
    ~Juma Amin
    5 stars
    “It was very difficult for me to be separated from my husband while he was overseas waiting for the processing of his immigration papers at the U.S. embassy. My attorney made the process move quicker than I anticipated by being on top of it and making sure the documents were completed properly and efficiently. I was never kept in the dark and updated frequently. We will be back to ImmigrationJD as soon as my husband is ready to file for citizenship”.

    Reasons an Asylum Seeker Might Be Denied

    A foreign national in the United States might be denied asylum for various reasons. Common grounds for denial include a lack of credible evidence or documentation to support their fear of persecution, failure to establish eligibility under the five protected grounds (race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group membership), or inconsistent or implausible statements during the asylum interview. Additionally, if the asylum seeker poses a threat to national security or has a criminal background, the person’s application may be denied. It is essential for asylum seekers to hire an immigration lawyer to address potential grounds for denial and improve their chances of a successful outcome.

    FAQs About Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the United States

    How Long Does it Take to Get Asylum in the United States?

    The timeline for obtaining asylum in the United States can vary widely and depends on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the workload of the immigration courts, and the individual circumstances of the applicant. The process can take several months to several years. It is essential for asylum seekers to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide them through the process, ensure their application is properly prepared, and provide support throughout the sometimes lengthy and challenging asylum process.

    Can Asylum Seekers be Denied and Deported?

    Asylum seekers can be denied asylum and may be subject to deportation if their asylum application is unsuccessful. When an asylum seeker’s application is denied, the person loses his or her protected status and may be subject to removal from the United States. The specific process for removal will depend on the person’s immigration status, whether they are in removal proceedings, or if they have other forms of legal relief available.

    If an asylum seeker’s application is denied, the foreign national may have the option to appeal the decision or seek other forms of relief, such as withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. It is essential for asylum seekers facing denial to seek legal representation to understand their legal options and rights, and to ensure they are adequately represented in immigration court or during any appeals process. An experienced immigration attorney at Khalaf & Abuzir will provide guidance and advocate on their behalf to protect their interests and explore all available legal remedies.

    How Much Money Do Asylum Seekers/Refugees Get in the United States?

    Asylum seekers and refugees in the United States do not receive a specific monetary amount or direct financial assistance solely based on their immigration status. They are not automatically entitled to government benefits solely because they seek asylum or have been granted refugee status.

    However, eligible refugees may be eligible for certain benefits and services provided by the U.S. government or non-profit organizations. These benefits can include:

    Refugee Cash Assistance:

    Refugees may receive a one-time cash payment to help them meet basic needs upon arrival in the United States.

    Refugee Medical Assistance:

    Refugees may be eligible for medical coverage through Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance for up to eight months after arrival.

    Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP):

    Eligible refugees may qualify for food assistance under the SNAP program.

    Refugee Resettlement Support Services:

    Refugees may receive assistance with housing, employment services, and language classes to aid in their integration into American society.