What is the Asylum process in court?
If you are seeking to remain in the United States by applying for asylum, you may find yourself in immigration court as part of the process. Under immigration regulations, the asylum process follows a separate, speedier, schedule than other types of proceedings before the court.
Persons seeking asylum can apply in two ways:
- affirmatively, meaning that the applicant voluntarily sends in an application for asylum without being prompted by immigration authorities; or,
- defensively, where an individual receives a Notice to Appear (NTA) in the mail and is charged as being removable/deportable, and wishes to apply for asylum in immigration court as a form of relief.
Either process while require what is called a "credible fear interview" as part of the asylum process.
What is Defensive Asylum and Withholding of Removal in Immigration Court?
If you are in Deportation or Removal Proceedings and want to asylum, you must apply for defensive asylum with the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (EOIR). Immigration Judges at the EOIR hear asylum applications only in the context of "defensive asylum" proceedings. This is the process for applicants who request asylum in defense against being deported from the United States, by claiming that he or she cannot return to the home country.
As mentioned above, this option is only available to those individuals who have received a Notice to Appear (NTA) in the mail, indicating that he or she must appear before an Immigration Judge in immigration court to determine whether he or she should be deported from the United States. It is the Immigration Judge's sole jurisdiction as to whether the individual qualifies for asylum.
If the applicant is found not eligible for asylum, the immigration judge decides whether the individual is eligible for any other methods of relief and if not, will be ordered removed (deported) from the U.S.
The immigration court can be a lengthy and intimidating process and it is always strongly encouraged that you retain the expert legal services of a knowledgeable U.S. immigration lawyer. We offer a FREE immigration consultation and affordable services to individuals seeking this help. Please contact our immigration attorneys in Los Angeles today.