At Wiley & Jobson, our attorneys are proud of our work on behalf of refugees and persons seeking asylum. Both Joye Wiley and Cara Jobson have been active as mentors and trainers working with the asylum project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and each lawyer has successfully represented countless individuals with fears of persecution in their home countries. To consult with an attorney contact our office.
Persons in the United States either lawfully or unlawfully can apply for asylum. An applicant for asylum must show either past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group (which includes sexual orientation).
An asylum seeker must submit his or her application within one year of arriving in the United States. There are exceptions to the one-year deadline, including extraordinary circumstances and changed circumstances. Some examples of exceptions that have been accepted by the Asylum Office and the Immigration Court include serious illness, psychological difficulties, changes in the home country that increase the risk of persecution, changes in the applicant’s status or activities that increase the risk of persecution, or maintenance of other lawful immigration status until a reasonable time before applying. This list is not exhaustive, and if you have missed the filing deadline but are afraid to return to your country, you should consult an immigration attorney as soon as possible.
The courts have recognized sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In the San Francisco Bay area, our attorneys have obtained asylum for many gay, lesbian and transgender individuals from Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. If you were persecuted in your home country because of your sexual orientation or gender, or if you have “come out” in the United States and now fear returning home, you may have grounds for asylum, withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture.
Our immigration lawyers can also present asylum applications as a defense to removal or deportation proceedings. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact an attorney at Wiley & Jobson.