Asylum, Withholding of Removal & Relief under the Convention against Torture
The INA provides that an alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States, irrespective of his/her status, may apply for asylum. In order to be eligible for asylum, the alien must show that he/she is a refugee, which means the alien must show either persecution or a “well-founded fear” of persecution in the country of nationality, or in which such person last resided, in the case of a person having no nationality, on account of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Asylum involves a two-step process: a finding of eligibility under the statute, and a discretionary decision whether to grant asylum (in the discretion of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)). The government will grant an alien's request for asylum if he/she can prove that he/she is eligible for asylum, and there are no significant reasons for denying asylum. The individual who is granted asylum is permitted to travel outside of the United States. His/her spouse and children may be granted the same status. Asylum may also lead to lawful permanent resident status.