Fairfax LGBTQ Asylum Lawyer

The United States has long had a reputation as a place where people fearing persecution in their homelands can seek a safe harbor. When people think about this program, they typically imagine people seeking political or religious freedom. However, membership in a persecuted social group is also a legitimate reason to seek asylum.

Members of the LGTBQ community around the world face persecution on a daily basis. Whether this is because of religious objections or political concerns, they often face the threat of outright violence because of who they are. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals deserve the right to live their lives free from these dangers and can ask the United States for asylum.

A dedicated LGBTQ immigration attorney may be able to help you. A Fairfax LGBTQ asylum lawyer could help to explain the process and provide essential guidance regarding your case. Call today to get started.

The Legal Basis and Requirement for Asylum Based on Sexual Orientation

The United States has served as a safe place for refugees for hundreds of years. Modern immigration laws now place strict limits on which noncitizens can remain in the country. Noncitizens must be in the country lawfully to avoid the risk of removal. However, a prominent exception to this rule exists in the concept of asylum.

According to 8 United States Code §1158, any person physically present in the United States or who detained by immigration at a border may immediately make a request for asylum. While anyone may make this case, not just any person will be successful.

Only people who are present in the U.S. and have the status of a refugee may receive asylum. Under the law, a refugee must establish that they have suffered persecution or have a well-founded fear of future persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. As applied to the LGTBQ community, these people face threats of violence in many Middle East, African, and Asian countries. An individual who can show that they have a legitimate fear of returning home because of these threats may qualify for asylum. A Fairfax lawyer with experience filing LGBTQ asylum claims could help people to better understand U.S. asylum laws.

How does a Person Apply for Affirmative Asylum (Not in Removal Proceedings)?

The asylum program is one branch of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To initiate an asylum petition, a person needs to complete Form I-589. The form requires the applicant to provide detailed information about the applicant’s past and current living situations. It also requires, if making an LGBTQ claim that a person provides specific information about why their sexual orientation exposes them to danger in their home country.

A thorough application will also include supplementary documentation. Police reports, news articles, government records, and other information that speak towards the persecution of LGTBQ individuals, which can help to build a powerful case as to why the applicant fears returning home.

A successful application will allow that person to take up residence in the United States. While the asylum applicant awaits adjudication of their application, they may make a request to obtain employment authorization (work permit) if the application for asylum has been pending for more than 150 days. After 180 days the applicant’s work permit can be approved by USCIS. Finally, people who receive asylum may submit an application for lawful permanent resident status (a Green Card) after one year of living in the United States. A Fairfax LGBTQ asylum lawyer could help people to make this critical step to a safe and secure future.

A Fairfax LGTBQ Asylum Attorney Could Help Refugees to Secure a New Home in the United States

A person’s sexual orientation is central to their identity. Unfortunately, many governments around the world are blind to this fact, if not openly hostile to the LGTBQ community. Any person from anywhere in the world may come to the United States and request asylum out of fear of violence due to their sexual orientation. However, these people must be prepared to provide specific evidence of how their sexual orientation exposes them to violence or persecution.

A Fairfax LGBTQ asylum lawyer may be able to help you. They could work with people present in the United States to prepare an application for asylum. They could work to gather information both here and abroad that speaks to the dangers that the LGBTQ community faces. An attorney could also help to put your specific experiences into words and complete the necessary documentation. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Fairfax LGBTQ Immigration Lawyer