Political Asylum


Applicants for political asylum may be granted the legal right to remain in the U.S. if they have been persecuted or fear persecution on account of their political opinion.  Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who:



1.  Meet the definition of refugee; and
2.  Are already in the United States; or

3.  Are seeking admission at a port of entry;


An individual may apply for asylum regardless of his or her country of origin or immigration status.  An applicant may also include his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, who are physically in the U.S. at the time of filing or at any time before a final decision is made on his or her case. 



A refugee is defined as any person outside his or her country of nationality (or in the case of a persons having no nationality, their last habitual residence) who, because of a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion,” is unable or unwilling to return to that country, and is unable or unwilling to avail him- or herself of the protection of that country.


Throughout the years, Congress has designated different groups of persons who may receive refugee protection by asserting a well-founded fear and demonstrating a lower standard of proof that requires only a “credible basis for concern about the possibility of persecution.”


The groups currently include nationals and residents of: (1) the former Soviet Union who share common characteristics; (2) Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia who share common characteristics or are recognized by the AG as members of certain categories of individuals; (3) the former Soviet Union who are Jews or Evangelical Christians; (4) the former Soviet Union who are members of the Ukrainian Catholic Church or the Ukrainian Orthodox Church; and (5) the Islamic Republic of Iran who are members of a religious minority.




An asylee is a person who meets the definition of refugee, but who is either physically present in the U.S. or is at a land border or port of entry of the U.S. at the time he or she seeks refuge.



The Lautenberg Amendment was extended until September 30, 2015.

With the reauthorization, a door to freedom for religious minorities in Iran and the former Soviet Union has been reopened.

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The information on this Michigan Immigration Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Law office with practice exclusively in Immigration and Nationality Law.  Serving clients in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Livingston counties, throughout the State of Michigan and other states.  Office located in Berkley, Oakland County; however, clients travel to meet with Svetlana Lebedinski from the cities throughout the Metro Detroit area, western Michigan and the adjacent states of Ohio and Illinois.  Full services Immigration Law Firm serving Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield, Novi, Troy, Detroit, Hamtramck, Downriver, Commerce Twp, Walled Lake, Pontiac, Livonia, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Howell, Wixom, Utica and beyond.

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