Asylum or Refugee Immigration
Asylum and Refugee Status: Common Paths to Immigration
The Department of Homeland Security's
2011 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics reports that there were 1,062,040 individuals granted lawful permanent
resident status in 2011. Out of these individuals, 168,460 - or, 15 percent
- were either refugees or asylum seekers. In addition to people who were
given green cards based on their refugee or asylee status, 56,384 new
people arrived in the United States as refugees, 44,583 of whom came from
If you are hoping to become a permanent resident and perhaps eventually a
naturalized citizen of the United States, a Richmond,
Virginia immigration attorney from Fayad Law, P.C. may be able to help you achieve your goals by petitioning
for your recognition as a refugee or asylee. We serve clients throughout
the world from our East Coast offices in Richmond and Fairfax, VA, as
well as in Raleigh, NC.
Eligibility for Asylum Status
There are two different types of asylum: affirmative asylum and defensive
asylum. The first type applies to cases in which an immigrant petitions
for this type of relief within one year of arrival in the U.S., whereas
the second is used in cases in which an individual needs to defend against
deportation and removal actions. To qualify for asylum, you must be able to provide evidence that
you fear that you would be at risk of torture or other types of persecution
in the event that you were forced to return to your country of origin.
About Claiming Refugee Status
Although generally the same in terms of status, the major difference between
the refugee and asylum processes is that an individual seeking to immigrate
as a refugee begins the process while still abroad. A person seeking asylum
must first be physically present in the United States to file a petition.
Refugee petitions are approved on the basis that the individual's
persecution is of special humanitarian concern to the United States and
that the persecution is based on race, religion, nationality, political
opinion or membership in a particular social group.
Whether you are seeking asylum for yourself or are hoping to assist a loved
one in claiming refugee status, we urge you to contact
our office now for an initial consultation and to get the process started.