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Applying for Refugee Status
Refugee Attorney in Eatontown, New Jersey
New Jersey Refugee Lawyer
If you fled your country to avoid persecution, you would most likely seek shelter elsewhere – such as in the US. With this, you will have to subject yourself to applying for refugee status. But the problem is that you don’t know where to begin.
Don’t worry; a New Jersey immigration lawyer has your back! Our lawyers from Andres Mejer Law provide quality legal assistance to any client and work hard to meet immigration aspirations. and assist even in immigration appeals. Set up a free consultation with us right away!
Why do I need a Refugee Attorney?
In any immigration case, you will have difficulty proving that you qualify for a particular immigration visa (e.g., VAWA, employment based immigration, family based immigration, fiancé/marriage visa, asylum status).
Most immigration and nonimmigrant visas have strict qualifications that you must be aware of and follow.
However, the burden does not end there. You must know what proper documents you must present that would help your case or evidence to prove your eligibility.
You will not be free from these challenges if you apply for refugee status. The burden of proving the persecution requirement makes applying for refugee status. Also, the approval of refugee status is on a case-to-case basis.
With this, it would be fitting to get help from Andres Mejer Law immigration attorneys who have dealt with these cases. We have helped hundreds of our clients reach their immigration aspirations. We provided them with competent legal service owing to your years of expertise in immigration law.
What is a Refugee?
In the most basic definition, a refugee is someone who has fled their own country for a grave cause (e.g., war or violence) and is seeking safety in another nation.
However, to get refugee status in the US, you must be a foreign national who has fled their country based on past persecution or fear of future persecution due to their
- Membership in a particular social group, or
- Political opinion.
Moreover, a refugee is typically someone who applied outside of the US and their home country. That is not the same as seeking asylum or asylee status because you must be within the borders of America when you apply.
In contrast to asylees, the US grants a limited number of people refugee status each year. The US president establishes this quantity or quota, which may vary depending on your home country. Additionally, the president must split the overall allocation across different world regions.
Benefits of Being Granted a Refugee Status?
When the US grants your refugee application, you will be eligible for the following benefits:
- Loan for traveling to the US
- Medical assistance
- Cash assistance
- Ethnic Community Self-Help (ECSH) program
- Legally work and stay in the US
- Obtain a lawful permanent residence.
To learn more about deeper about the benefits, go to the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement page.
How to Apply for Refugee Status?
Step 1: Get a referral from U.S. Refugee Admission Program (USRAP).
In every refugee case, the first thing you should have is a referral from the U.S. Refugee Admission Program (USRAP) for consideration as a refugee. USRAP refers to refugees based on its priorities:
- 1st Priority: Cases recommended by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a United States Embassy, or a designated non-governmental organization (NGO).
- 2nd Priority: Cases of special humanitarian concern identified by the U.S. refugee program.
- 3rd Priority: Family reunification cases.
They may assist you in completing your refugee status application once you have received your referral. With this, you will have to provide proof of your persecution and a detailed affidavit that describes the series of events and explains your fear of returning to your home country.
One key point to remember while preparing the affidavit is to detail and explain your situation so that the officer assessing your case understands the necessity for refugee status.
Step 2: Attending the Refugee Interview
Once you have submitted all necessary documents and forms, USCIS will schedule you for a refugee interview. You will be interviewed abroad by a USCIS officer or immigration officer and decide whether or not to grant your refugee status.
During the interview, the officer will decide if you fit the criteria for a refugee – such as fear of persecution or prior experience with persecution.
Step 3: Approval or Denial of Refugee Application
Approved refugee application. If the immigration officer who interviewed you approves your application, you will be granted refugee status and can enter the United States lawfully.
Denied refugee application. Unfortunately, there are no appeals for a denied refugee application, but you may reapply as often as you desire. It would be helpful to provide more details or facts about your case. Consider incorporating recent occurrences in your origin country that would help bolster your application.
Step 4: Enter the United States
Once your refugee application is approved, they expect you to enter the United States within four months.
If you enter the United States at any port of entry, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will meet you and give you a refugee admission stamp in your passport.
Applying for a Green Card as a Refugee
You must be physically present in the United States for at least one year to obtain a green card as a refugee. The process of obtaining this is known as adjustment of status.
To undergo an adjustment of status, you must have the following requirements:
- Duly accomplished Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
- Must be admitted to the United States as a refugee.
- Must be physically present in the United States when applying for adjustment of status.
- Your refugee status has not been terminated.
- You are qualified for lawful permanent residence in the United States, a waiver of inadmissibility, or other kinds of relief.
To know more about what to submit with your form, visit USCIS’s webpage.
Remember that you must not have broken any immigration laws or regulations. That would substantially impact your chances of getting a permanent residence.
Moreover, removal proceedings (deportation) may be initiated against you, requiring you to appear before an immigration court.
If this happens, contact our New Jersey immigration attorney to guide and help you with your case.
Call our Refugee Lawyer Now!
We want to provide you with that sense of comfort, knowing that you won’t have to be terrified every second of the idea of returning to your origin country.
As a law firm, we are committed to providing our clients with well-rounded services. Our law firm handles not just immigration matters but also criminal charges and family law. We can help you get legal aid for your criminal charges (e.g., drug charges, DUI, shoplifting) or provide you with legal advice about family law (e.g., child custody or divorce), or present your case to an immigration judge.
Whatever your situation is, our law office is here. Contact us or schedule a free consultation with us today!
“I had no problem reaching out to Andres Mejer. He has attended the court hearing and answered all the questions of the prosecutor…thank you, Andres!”
“I knew that I couldn’t just go to court alone to defend myself…but Andres was there to help me. He has helped me successfully apply for a U VIsa.”
“Nobody can help me in the past, but Attorney Andres Mejer was able to help me fix my immigration problem. He has guided me through the immigration process and has encouraged me to fight and never give up my freedom to live in the U.S.”