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San Francisco Asylum Attorney

Skilled Representation with Complex Asylum Cases

If you are here in the United States and you fear being deported to your home country, you may be eligible for asylum, withholding of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture Act. Our San Francisco asylum attorneys have extensive experience in this particular area of law.

We can help you understand your options and determine the best course of legal action. We offer personalized, honest counsel and insight gained from nearly three decades of legal practice.


Contact our firm online or at (415) 300-2144 to schedule a consultation with an asylum lawyer. We offer services in Arabic, English, Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese,

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What is Asylum for Immigration?

Asylum is a legal protection extended by the U.S. government to persons who can demonstrate a fear of persecution in their home country based on their membership in a group. Asylum is distinct from refugee status in that a refugee will apply for protection while still outside the United States, while the asylee applies from within the country.

You may obtain asylum if you have a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of your:

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

This includes experiencing or fearing harm as a result of your sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.

Once approved, those with asylum status have the right to remain in the United States until the conditions in their home country are no longer provably harmful to the asylee. Approved asylees can apply for a work permit to work in the country. After a year of asylum status, asylees can apply for a green card, and four years after that can apply for citizenship in the United States.

Obtaining asylum can be very difficult, depending on your circumstances. Our office has substantial experience in preparing and successfully filing hundreds of asylum applications. There is no guarantee with any case, but having an experienced asylum attorney can help you build your case and prepare for your interview.

Bars to Applying for and Receiving Asylum in the United States

Timing in asylum cases is crucial. Asylum seekers must file their cases within one year of their last arrival to the United States. The application may be filed outside the one year period of time if the applicant can show changed circumstances that materially change the applicant’s eligibility for asylum, or extraordinary circumstances directly related to the delay in filing of the application.

Criminal history can affect a person’s eligibility for asylum. Different convictions can affect a case differently. If you have been arrested and convicted of crimes in the past and still wish to seek asylum, we advise that you seek an immigration attorney to determine the best way to approach your case.

Withholding of Removal & Relief under the Convention Against Torture Act

If you have a bar preventing you from getting asylum, you may want to consider applying for withholding of removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture Act. The basis of the claim is very similar to asylum, but the standard of proof is higher. With a withholding of removal case, you must show it is "more likely than not" that your life or freedom will be threatened should you be returned to your home country.

Relief granted to those receiving a withholding of removal is also more limited than those with asylum status. Withholding of removal does not automatically lead to a lawful permanent resident status, nor does it allow for traveling outside the United States. Additionally, if the government finds another country to which you can be safely removed, you may be moved to that country instead.

Contact Our Asylum Office in San Francisco, CA

If you need assistance with an asylum related matter in San Francisco, you can trust our immigration attorneys to help you through the process. We offer consultations in our office to help determine if you are eligible for these forms of relief, or if there are other forms of relief for which you may qualify.

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Contact our San Francisco asylum attorneys at (415) 300-2144 today or fill out an online contact form to request a consultation.


Commonly Asked Questions

What is the difference between asylum and refugee status?

Asylum is for individuals who apply for protection while already in the United States and fear persecution in their home country. Refugee status is for individuals who apply for protection while still outside the United States.

Can I apply for a work permit if I am granted asylum?

Yes, once approved for asylum, individuals can apply for a work permit to work in the United States.

What are the timing requirements for filing an asylum case?

Asylum seekers must file their cases within one year of their last arrival to the United States. There are exceptions for changed circumstances or extraordinary circumstances directly related to the delay in filing.

Can criminal history affect eligibility for asylum?

Yes, criminal history can affect eligibility for asylum. It is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to determine the best approach for your case.

What is withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture Act?

Withholding of removal and relief under the Convention Against Torture Act are alternatives for individuals who have a bar preventing them from obtaining asylum. The standards of proof and benefits differ from asylum status.

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