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Asylum & Adoption in the Atlanta Metro

Asylum Assistance in Atlanta and Marietta

When a person has left a country due to racial or tribal persecution, political or religious persecution, or other human rights issues, proven domestic abuse, they can apply for asylum in the U.S.A. There is only one year in which to apply for this status. If you have passed the one year window, there are still actions that can be taken to achieve asylum status, but these requirements are quite strict and it must be proven why your circumstances did not allow you to apply.

An alien may be eligible for asylum if such alien is a refugee within the meaning of the law. The law generally defines a refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of their country of nationality because of persecution, or a well founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Persons who took part, or ordered, or assisted in the persecution of anyone on the basis of any of the aforementioned grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion are excluded from that definition.

An alien applicant for asylum has the onus of proving that he is a refugee. The alien may discharge the onus by his credible, persuasive, and sufficient testimony alone, or by his credible testimony with other corroborating testimony if the trier of fact so requires.

A spouse and child of an alien who has been granted asylum may be granted the same status as the alien if accompanying or following to join such alien. The relationship of spouse and child referred to above must exist at the time the principal alien’s asylum application was approved. The said relationship must also continue to exist: (i) at the time of filing to accompany or follow and (ii) at the time of the spouse or child admission to the United States. Due to the humanitarian nature of asylum benefit/relief, the law also allows for a child to be eligible to accompany or follow where the child was in utero on the date of the asylum grant.

An alien granted asylum may apply to adjust status after at least one year of the grant. It is important for an alien in asylum status to apply for adjustment of status as soon as eligible because if they do delay, and circumstances change to their favor, the asylum status may be lost.

General bars to asylum include…

  1. 1 year deadline; must be filed within 1year of alien’s arrival in the United States, unless there are extraordinary circumstances that caused the delay
  2. Frivolous application or previously denied application
  3. Conviction for particularly serious crime or aggravated felony
  4. Existence of a safe third country.
  5. Asylum applications can either be affirmative or defensive. It is affirmative where it is filed with the department of homeland security, and defensive when filed before an immigration judge in removal proceedings.

Closely related to asylum is relief under the Convention Against Torture where an alien may be eligible for withholding or deferral of removal under CAT.

Inter-country Adoption Assistance in Atlanta and Marietta

When you plan to adopt a child from another country, there is a specific legal process that must be undertaken in order to get your new family member into the U.S.A. This is called “intercountry adoption” and is handled through the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). It is a complex process requiring navigation of U.S. federal law, the law of the child’s country and the law where you reside. Be confident that the Immigration Law Office of Victor Okeke can assist you in this regard.

When seeking legal representation to assist you with asylum or the adoption process, contact an Atlanta Immigration Lawyer from the Immigration Law Office of Victor Okeke.