Asylum status allows individuals to remain in the U.S. because they could be harmed if they stay in their country of origin. Our dedicated team can improve your chances of obtaining asylum status.

There are laws in the U.S. Constitution that protect individuals from injustice and harm. However, other countries don’t always offer their citizens the same protection. If a foreigner’s life is at risk, they may be able to escape to safety in the U.S. However, they need to get asylum status first.

Only certain individuals qualify for asylum. When you work with a knowledgeable attorney at the Florida Immigration Law Counsel, you can learn more about your options for avoiding persecution. We encourage you to contact our office today to get started.

Understanding the Basics of Asylum in the U.S.

The refugee program in Florida is the largest in the country. Every year, there are about 27,000 asylees, Cuban or Haitian entrants, and refugees in the state. Florida protects thousands of foreign-born people.

Asylum status allows individuals to remain in the U.S. because they could experience harm if they stay in their country of origin. If the government grants asylum status, the individual can legally live and work in the U.S. They also can travel to a different country and re-enter the U.S. In some cases, they may be able to apply for Medicaid, food stamps, or other forms of government assistance.

Once you receive asylum status, you could be on your way to receiving a green card. The government allows you to apply for your green card one year after you receive asylum status.

Asylum Eligibility Requirements

There are several eligibility requirements for asylum. First, the person must be in the U.S. or a port of entry to the U.S. Individuals who are currently overseas need to apply for refugee status—not asylum. In some cases, people undergoing removal proceedings can seek asylum.

Other requirements relate to the individual’s home country. You are eligible for asylum if the following is true:

  • You experienced, or you expect to experience, persecution in your home country
  • The government or an uncontrolled group threatens your safety
  • You fear persecution based on your race, religion, political view, nationality, or social group

For example, a Gainesville international student feared his home country would persecute him for his sexual orientation. He’s one of many individuals who could face death in his country.

If you want asylum, you need to file your application within a year of the last time you entered the U.S. Although there are exceptions, they are limited. The government could start removal proceedings and force you back home.

Asylum and Employment

You do not have asylum status until the government approves your application. However, you may be able to work while you wait for your approval. You can apply for a work permit 180 days after submitting your application. If you try working before you receive a permit or your application is approved, you could lose your chance at asylum. Therefore, you should consult with an immigration attorney before starting any job.

Navigating the Asylum Application Process

If you’re working with an attorney, they can go into more details about the application process. But there are a few steps to help you understand what the process entails.

First, you need to file your application for asylum with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. The Asylum Office reviews your application and will interview you. During the interview, they will evaluate whether or not you are eligible for asylum.

You won’t get an immediate decision on the issue. Typically, it takes a month or two from the time you apply to receive a decision. If the USCIS approves it, you are an asylee. If they deny it, you can go to immigration court to fight the decision. A judge will hear your case and decide the outcome. During the proceedings, a lawyer from the Department of Homeland Security will be there. The process usually takes between six months and two years.

If all goes well, you can obtain asylum status. However, if the Department of Homeland Security appeals the decision to grant you asylum, you can take the matter to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

How an Experienced Florida Immigration Lawyer Can Help

Working with an attorney can improve your chances of achieving asylum status. However, the government does not give you access to an experienced attorney. It’s up to you to find and hire someone to help you through the process.

Whether or not you achieve asylum depends on your circumstances. The reason for your persecution, your personal history of persecution, and the amount of supporting evidence you have can affect your case. There are no guarantees you can stay in the U.S., but there are ways you can increase your chances of a good outcome.

Asylum doesn’t only give you a ticket into the U.S. It could save you from harm or hardship. Our firm understands what you have at stake. For that reason, we dedicate ourselves to getting you a good outcome. Contact us today to learn more.

The Florida Immigration Law Counsel has years of experience fighting for the rights of individuals from other countries. Call 1-800-666-4996 today to schedule a strategy session with a knowledgeable immigration attorney.


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!