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Applying for Asylum in NYC and New Jersey

New York asylum lawyer answers questions about applying for asylum

It can be difficult to know when and how to apply for asylum, especially when you have just escaped a difficult situation in your home country.  The experienced asylum lawyers at Bretz & Coven, LLP want to help.  Here are their answers to the most common questions about asylum in the U.S.

Do I qualify for asylum?

You may qualify for asylum if you are a refugee—defined under U.S. law as someone outside his or her country of residence, who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

How do I apply for asylum?

How you apply for asylum depends on your circumstances.  In all cases, you must submit a Form I-589.  However, the location at which you submit the form varies, depending on if you:

  • Are applying for the first time, and are not in removal proceedings—apply at the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Previously applied for and were denied asylum, or someone else applied for you, but you are no longer eligible as a dependent—apply at the asylum office having jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Are in the midst of removal proceedings—apply at the immigration court that has jurisdiction over your place of residence
  • Are with a group, including crewmembers, stowaways, or individuals who entered the U.S. pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program—apply at the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over your place of residence

Should I bring a lawyer to my asylum interview?

You are not required to bring a lawyer, but applicants with New York City immigration asylum attorneys are much more likely to succeed in their asylum applications.

How do I apply for asylum for my spouse and children?

You must list your spouse and children on your Form I-589, regardless of whether they are with you in the United States, or want to be included in your asylum application.  However, you may ask to include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application.

How long does it take?

Most asylum applicants receive a decision within six months of their application, barring unusual circumstances.

Work with skilled New York asylum lawyers

The immigration attorneys at Bretz & Coven, LLP successfully have represented hundreds of asylum applicants, from uncomplicated first-time applicants to individuals already in removal proceedings.  If you are contemplating applying for asylum, or want to appeal an adverse asylum decision, contact our experienced immigration attorneys right away.

We invite you to contact us online or by phone, at 212-267-2555, or to visit our conveniently located offices in downtown Manhattan, to discuss your application for asylum and any other immigration concerns you may have.  For an office appointment in Metro Park, New Jersey, call 1 (732) 313-0075.

Immigration Consequences of Criminal and Fraudulent Conduct
The immigration consequences of criminal or fraudulent conduct can be harsh and often illogical. Even a very minor offense could have a dramatic immigration consequence, including deportation, detention without bond, being denied naturalization, a visa or re-entry into the United States. Likewise, the use of fake or fraudulent documents, aliases, and other misrepresentations can have similar immigration consequences. Kerry Bretz and Bretz & Coven have been counseling non-citizen criminal defendants, as well as their lawyers, for over 20 years. We have a long history of strategizing deportation and removal defenses, as well as applications for waivers, in very complicated cases.

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"Was trying to get Green Card since about 7 years. Finally when I switched to this law firm I was able to get green card very fast with great confidence. Big thanks to Eileen, Kerry, Manjit and Olga." - Dinesh, Kansas

""With an extensive criminal history: over 14 arrests, 2 State prison bids and several felony convictions no lawyer wanted my case in 2010. Thanks to the experts at Bretz & Coven who worked diligently and with precision, today I am a United States citizen." - E.A. Brooklyn, NY

"Absolutely one the best, if not the best immigration attorneys. They helped from start to finish in my green card process. At no point was I blind-sided by anything. Simply amazing!" - Leon B. Jersey City,

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