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New York Asylum Lawyers

Joseph Caraccio avatar
I have been practicing law since 2012 after graduating NY Law School. My practice is focused on helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States, def...
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I have been practicing law since 2012 after graduating NY Law School. My practice is focused on helping immigrants obtain legal status in the United States, def...
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Seeking asylum in the United States is the best option for many individuals who cannot return to their home country due to fear of persecution or harm. To ensure that the process of seeking asylum goes as smoothly as possible, it’s best to hire a lawyer for asylum in New York.

This article will explain what an asylum lawyer is, what he or she does, when and how to hire an asylum lawyer, the potential costs involved, and other relevant information.

What Is an Asylum Lawyer?

Asylum is a form of protection given to individuals who are unable or afraid to go back to their country of origin because they have either:

  1. Suffered past persecution; or
  2. Have a well-founded fear of persecution should they return.

To qualify for asylum, such harm or persecution must be based on one’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This is called the “nexus requirement.” Members of the LGBTQ+ community, for instance, often seek asylum because the laws in their country of origin punish homosexuality or transgenderism.

An asylum lawyer is an immigration lawyer who provides legal assistance to asylum seekers. This could include assisting them with the asylum application, pitching the closing statement during the asylum interview, and defending them during immigration proceedings (discussed in further detail below).

The asylum process usually begins with filling out an I-589 Form (Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal). Here the applicant will provide his or her personal details as well as the circumstances and grounds for seeking asylum. If you’re considering seeking asylum in the United States, a competent New York asylum lawyer can help you throughout the process, including filling out this form and advocating for your asylum status.

What Does an Asylum Attorney Do?

In order to understand what an asylum attorney does, it’s important to first understand the asylum process. There are two circumstances in which one can apply for asylum:

  • Affirmative asylum process. This situation is when the person is proactively applying for asylum and has not yet been placed in removal proceedings or detained by immigration.
  • Defensive asylum process. This occurs when the asylum application is submitted in response to removal proceedings or the person is already detained by immigration authorities.

The following are the major steps in the asylum process, together with the role of an asylum attorney:

1. Filling out and submitting the application form

It is important to complete the I-589 form as accurately as possible while making sure that you are presenting a meritorious case for your asylum status. An asylum lawyer can help out with this.

After filling out and submitting your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will obtain an appointment to get your fingerprints are taken, as well as an interview date.

2. Interview with USCIS

The interview is when you can advocate for yourself to the U.S. government and further explain why you deserve to be granted asylum. An experienced New York asylum attorney can help you prepare for the standard questions that the interviewer may ask. Your lawyer may also assist you in compiling evidence to help your case. He or she may also be present with you during the interview and make a closing statement on your behalf in order to create a stronger case for your asylum status.

After this step, the Asylum Office may either grant your asylum or refer you to the immigration court.

3. Immigration court proceedings

If your application for asylum isn’t granted, then you’ll have to go through immigration court proceedings. At this stage, it is critical that you have an asylum lawyer to represent you in court.

When to Hire an Asylum Lawyer in New York?

Seeking out an asylum lawyer even before filling out an application for asylum is highly advisable. Although it’s possible to go through the application process and interview without a lawyer, you will definitely need one if your case proceeds to immigration court.

How to Find a Lawyer for Asylum?

If you have any friends or family members who have gone through the process, try to ask them for referrals. Also, check out reliable directories such as Lawrina, or your New York’s local bar association. You may also want to explore nonprofits that advocate for immigrant rights.

How Do I Choose an Asylum Attorney in New York?

Make sure to choose someone who is experienced in immigration law and has assisted asylum seekers like you. You must also choose someone who fully understands your particular situation and communicates well.

How Much Does the Asylum Lawyer Average Cost New York?

Some immigration nonprofits offer pro bono or low-cost legal assistance for asylum seekers. On average, however, asylum lawyers charge between $100 to $350 per hour. The whole process may cost a total of $1,000 to $7,000. Hiring the best asylum lawyer in New York will ensure that you get the value of every dollar spent.

Do Asylum Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?

The initial consultation is usually free, but some asylum attorneys may charge their hourly rate. Beyond the initial consultation, an attorney will typically charge his or her regular hourly rate unless the firm offers pro-bono services.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does asylum cost?

The U.S. government does not charge a fee to apply for asylum, but you can expect to spend money on an asylum attorney, which may cost around $1,000 to $7,000.

Can I work while my asylum case is pending?

If you filed an affirmative application, you might apply for a work permit 150 days after filing.

When should I file for asylum?

You need to do so within a year from the date you last entered the country.