Applying For Refugee Status: What To Know

29 March 2019
 Categories: , Blog

Some who wish to immigrate to the U.S. have more than a desire – they are compelled because they face persecution in their home country. The U.S. allows a certain number of people from other countries to enter legally each year and using a refugee application is just one of many. Read below for some help in applying for an immigration refugee status admission to the U.S.

Make Contacts in Your Country

The admissions process begins by contacting one of two different agencies in your own country. The U.S. Refugee Program or the United Nations High Commission for Refugees will screen you and label your case with refugee status if you qualify. You will then be referred to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office. At this point, the refugee application form (I-590) and several other forms that confirm your identity must be completed and turned in. If you have other family members who will be immigrating with you, you should be prepared to apply for your spouse and/or children at the same time. Their identification and relationship to you must be demonstrated with documentation.

Name a Financial Sponsor

You must be able to prove that you have the financial means to pay for your travel and living expenses when you arrive in the U.S. This is often accomplished by naming family members or friends now living in the U.S. If that is not possible, there are many human rights organizations that offer this type of assistance. The sponsor has paperwork that must be filled out (Form I-34). Once this step has been completed, make arrangements to have your medical examinations completed prior to your USCIS interview.

Undergo the USCIS Interview

Your local USCIS office will provide you and any family members with an appointment to come in and discuss your refugee application. This is your opportunity to explain to the officials why you feel you deserve refugee status and should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S. There are several areas of persecution recognized by the USCIS and you should be prepared to speak about any that apply to your situation. The USCIS needs to understand how you are either being persecuted or why you fear persecution based on:

  • Political opinions
  • Nationality
  • Social group affiliations
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Sex

Proof of Persecution

To help prove your case, be ready to provide sworn statements attesting to persecution. Additionally, personal affidavits from associates, officials, physicians, relatives and others who are aware of your situation and are willing to support your allegations of persecution are helpful. Finally, you may gain refugee status by explaining how human rights, in general, are trampled upon in your country. Proof of that might include reports by human rights organization like Amnesty International, newspaper and magazine articles, and more.

Get Help from a Legal Expert

You can help prepare for your refugee application by contacting an immigration attorney in the U.S. This attorney can assist you with gathering proof and be your official contact in the state to which you wish to immigrate to. Contact a law firm such as The Ortiz Law Firm to learn more.