Humanitarian-based Immigration

The United States awards special immigration status to a few thousand people each year. Humanitarian immigration may be an option for you or your family member if you come from a war-torn country, have suffered persecution, have had extreme hardships, or you qualify for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.

Asylum

Asylum is an immigration status awarded to individuals who have shown that they have suffered persecution in their home country. Persecution is not well-defined in the law, but generally requires a showing of severe harm or threat to an individual’s life or freedom. The persecution must be shown to have occurred on account of the victim’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group. The perpetrator of the persecution must be either the government of the country or an individual or group that the government is unable or unwilling to control.

Individuals who are granted asylum in the United States are generally able to petition for their spouse and minor children to receive asylum status as well. This provides the asylee and family members with legal immigration status and work authorization in the United States until such time as that status is changed or terminated. After the one year anniversary of the grant of asylum, the individual may apply for lawful permanent resident status.

Asylum is a difficult status to win. Eligibility determinations require a thorough analysis of the law and facts in the case. We recommend consulting with an experienced immigration practitioner prior to filing any application for asylum.

One Year Deadline For Asylum

The individual seeking asylum must file an application for this benefit within one year of entering the United States, or show that exceptional circumstances prevented filing by this deadline. Finally, asylum is a discretionary status, and individuals with poor moral character or who are found to have committed crimes or immoral acts will not be eligible for asylum.

Eligibility For Asylum – Every year people come to the United States seeking protection because they have suffered persecution or fear that they will suffer persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion

Adjustment Of Status for Asylees

If you were granted asylum status in the U.S., you may qualify for legal permanent residency  (a Green Card) after one year of living in the United States.

Temporary Protected Status

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is a short term immigration status that allows the recipient to live and work lawfully in the United States during times of extreme turmoil in his or her home country. TPS is available to persons whose home countries are considered too dangerous to accept returnees from abroad due to severe natural disasters, war, and other extreme conditions. TPS is generally issued for 18 months at a time, and may be renewed if conditions in the person’s country of origin have not improved to allow for the individual’s safe return.

To qualify for TPS:

  • An individual must prove that he or she was already in the United States when the disaster or dangerous conditions occurred.
  • An individual with a felony conviction or more than two misdemeanors cannot apply
  • An individual must renew TPS on time

WGV assists individuals with straightforward and complex TPS applications, including late initial registration and requests for renewal after expiration and loss of benefits. To determine eligibility for TPS, it is advisable to obtain a thorough analysis of the facts and law applicable to the case with an experienced Austin immigration attorney.

Special Immigration Juvenile Status

Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) is a manner by which eligible immigrant youth may apply for and be granted lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

To be eligible for SIJIS, the applicant must:

  • Be unmarried
  • Under 21 years of age
  • Have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by at least one parent.

In order to apply for SIJS with the immigration service, the child must first be the subject of a family court proceeding to determine proper guardianship and/or custody of the child. The state court must find that the child has been abused, neglected, or abandoned and that returning to his or her home country would be contrary to the child’s best interests. Our compassionate Austin immigration lawyers can effectively navigate you through the process.

Withholding Of Removal

Withholding of Removal (WOR) is an immigration status awarded to individuals who have shown that they have suffered persecution in their home country, but who do not qualify for asylum. Persecution is not well-defined in the law, but generally requires a showing of severe harm or threat to an individual’s life or freedom. The persecution must be shown to have occurred on account of the victim’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group. The perpetrator of the persecution must be either the government of the country or an individual or group that the government is unable or unwilling to control.

Individuals who are granted WOR in the United States are NOT able to petition for their spouse and minor children to receive protection in the United States. The request for WOR must be renewed yearly, and no progression toward residency or citizenship is permitted from WOR.

Austin Humanitarian Based Immigration Help From Dedicated Lawyers

Eligibility determinations for humanitarian immigration require a thorough analysis of the facts and law applicable in one’s case. Before filing out any applicable for special immigration status, consult with a Texas immigration attorney at Walker Gates Vela. To learn more, call today.

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Suite 300

Austin, TX 78752