Can I Apply for a U.S. Visa if I Am a Victim of Political Persecution?

Of note, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers asylum to individuals who are afraid to return to their home country due to political persecution. With this, you may wonder whether a temporary asylee status may offer a path toward a permanent resident status in the United States. Follow along to find out whether you can apply for a United States visa after being made a victim of political persecution in your home country and how a proficient asylum immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C. can help lead you toward safety.

What does the USCIS consider to be political persecution?

The USCIS does not disclose its official definition of political persecution. But generally speaking, it is considered to be harm and/or suffering inflicted upon an individual as punishment for possessing a certain political opinion. Further, such harm and/or suffering is intended to threaten an individual’s life and/or freedom. Therefore, you may be considered a victim of political persecution if you have suffered any of the following events:

  • You have been imprisoned after expressing your political beliefs.
  • You have been made a victim of police brutality after expressing your political beliefs.
  • You have been stripped of your citizen’s rights in your home country after expressing your political beliefs.
  • You have been threatened with violent actions (i.e., murder, summary execution, torture, forced disappearance, etc.) after expressing your political beliefs.

Can I apply for a United States visa if I am a victim of political persecution?

To reiterate, the USCIS offers an asylum program for individuals who have suffered persecution or have a reasonable fear that they will suffer persecution in their home country due to their political opinions. To be eligible for this program, you must file Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, while you are physically present in the United States and within one year of your arrival to the country. What’s more, you must not already be a United States citizen.

However, once you attain asylee status, you may be eligible to remain in the United States for a more permanent stay. That is, you may have the chance to apply for the United States permanent resident card (i.e., a green card). You may be afforded this opportunity so long as you continue to meet the following criteria:

  • You must continue to be physically present in the United States within one year of your being granted asylee status.
  • You must not resettle in a foreign country or otherwise abandon your United States asylee status in any way.
  • You must continue to otherwise meet the definition of an asylee, or be the dependent of an asylee.
  • You must continue to otherwise be admissible in the United States.

At the end of the day, your application for a United States visa requires a competent Milwaukee, WI asylum immigration lawyer in your corner. So please get in touch with us at Sesini Law Group, S.C.

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