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Mark Kinzler, P.C.

Understanding different types of asylum applications

When people living in Texas apply for asylum in the United States, there are two different types of asylum applications: affirmative and defensive applications. The decision as to which one to pursue depends on whether the immigrant making the application is subject to formal removal proceedings. There are similarities between the applications as well as differences; both provide a means for foreign nationals to escape persecution in the United States.

In order to qualify for asylum under either an affirmative or defensive application, the applicant must be a refugee, as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act, who would face persecution if they returned to their home country. The persecution must fall under at least one of five designated protected areas. Both applications are used when the asylum seeker is already in the United States. In order to make an affirmative application, a person must submit Form I-589 to USCIS within one year of the person's arrival in the country. After this, the asylum seeker will have a meeting with an asylum officer and a hearing before an immigration judge if their application is denied.

On the other hand, a defensive application is made after the person is already facing removal proceedings in immigration court under the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The first hearing on the case will be held in an adversarial manner before an immigration judge. If the judge denies the asylum application, they will then consider other forms of protection or relief from removal.

When people come to the United States to flee persecution and seek asylum as refugees, they are facing high stakes at a significant cost to themselves. An immigration lawyer may help people file their asylum applications or seek asylum in a defensive context. An attorney may help ensure that the application is complete and presents all relevant evidence.

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The Law Office of
Mark Kinzler, P.C.

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