There are many questions people are asking after learning that the Title 42 policy was repealed in the United States, which allowed authorities to quickly deport immigrants who were returning as part of containment operations in the COVID-19 pandemic. As they were on their land borders. One of those doubts is how to request asylum in the North American country.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services establishes conditions for those who wish to make such a request:
1. When to apply for asylum?
The first thing to say is that applications for asylum can be made by people who are arriving or are already on the territory of that country. This request, he indicated, is independent of the person’s immigration status and must be made within one year of arrival in the country.
Those filing petitions more than one year after entering the United States will not be considered eligible, unless they demonstrate that extraordinary circumstances have arisen that prevent them from complying in a timely manner. If any exception is possible then only in that case it will be analyzed.
Keep in mind that you will be barred from applying for asylum first and will be denied by an immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals. In this case, you must show that there has been a change in circumstances that makes you eligible to reapply for asylum.
2. How to apply for asylum?
According to Citizenship and Immigration Services, one of the basic steps to request is Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal. More information about how to obtain documents can be found at www.uscis.gov.
In the said form, the data of the spouse and all children, whether living, missing or dead, should be included; if they were born in other countries or in the United States; if they are under or over the age of 21; if they are single or married; if they live anywhere other than the US; or if they are adopted children; among other conditions which can be seen on the above mentioned website.
3. Can someone who is in the country illegally apply for asylum?
This is one of the points that generates the most fear. However, US immigration authorities determine that a person can apply for asylum regardless of their immigration status. But be careful, there are conditions that the person making the request is not in removal proceedings and that they submit it within the time specified in point 1 of this article.
Similarly, people who have been convicted of crimes may request, as long as there is no room for a veto of asylum for crimes. The important thing is to report this information honestly, as failure to do so could result in the matter being referred to immigration court or a “possible fine or imprisonment for perjury.”
4. How much does it cost and how long does it take to process the application?
It is important to be clear that there is no set fee for applying for asylum. Furthermore, the decision made by the immigration authorities of the North American country must be made within 180 days from the date the petition is filed, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
5. Who can help with the application?
People who go through this process have the right to have an attorney or representative present for an asylum interview and to have immigration proceedings before an immigration court. In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Annur) can provide assistance to people completing Form I-589.
If the applicant does not speak English, they must bring an interpreter who speaks the language fluently, who must be over 18 years of age. However, lawyers or authorized representatives, witnesses testifying on behalf of the applicant at interview, or representatives or employees of the applicant’s country may not act as interpreters. If the person has a document that is not in English, they must provide a certified translation of it in that language.
For the rest, it is important not to leave the United States if the application for asylum has not yet been answered. If this has already been granted, the person can leave the country through a Refugee Travel Document (RTD) as long as they are permitted to return. All official information about this process can be found on the website www.uscis.gov.