Other Humanitarian Visa Options
Aside from asylum and refugees, the United States offers several other humanitarian immigration options for people in need of help. So, even if an asylum application ultimately fails, there still may be options to prevent deportation.
Withholding of Removal
A person is eligible for Withholding of Removal if he or she can show it is more likely than not that, upon returning to his or her home country, he or she would be persecuted on account of race, religion, national origin, political opinion or membership in a social group. Someone receiving withholding of removal cannot be deported to the country where they fear persecution. In practice, a person with withholding of removal can stay and work in the United States permanently, although they cannot get a Green Card or citizenship.
The definition of Withholding of Removal is very similar to the definition of Asylum. Asylum is generally better because 1) it is easier to prove and 2) it puts a person on a path to a Green Card and maybe even citizenship. Withholding of Removal is a good option for people who fear persecution but are denied Asylum because of the one year or other bars. People who persecute others or who have committed serious crimes in the past are not eligible for Withholding of Removal.
Convention Against Torture (CAT) Relief
The Convention Against Torture (CAT) is an international treaty signed by 151 countries, including the United States, designed to prevent torture around the world. One of the requirements of the treaty is that a country cannot send someone to a country if that person will be tortured there.
In fulfilling its obligations under the treaty, the United States will not deport anyone who can prove that it is more likely than not that he or she will be tortured upon returning to his or her home country. A person does not have to prove that the torture is done on account of any protected grounds; only that torture will happen.
There is no bar to CAT relief – a criminal, or even a terrorist can avoid deportation by using the CAT. For this reason, CAT is often used by Asylees who have a criminal record but are afraid to return to their home country.
Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
Sometimes there is a war or natural disaster in a country, making it unsafe to return there. If this happens, the U.S. government will designate that country for Temporary Protected Status. If the government “designates” a country for TPS, then anyone from that country who was living in the United States on that date can apply for TPS. People with TPS cannot be deported and can live and work in the United States as long as the U.S. government believes it is still too dangerous to return to that country.
The following countries are currently designated for TPS (designation date in parenthesis): El Salvador (March 9, 2001), Haiti (July 23, 2011), Honduras (January 5, 1999), Nicaragua (January 5, 1999), Somalia (September 18, 2012), Sudan (May 3, 2013), South Sudan (May 3, 2013), and Syria (March 29, 2012).
Protecting your rights
We are highly experienced in many types of humanitarian immigration law. We have helped people from all over the world fleeing persecution to gain protection in the US. Our attorneys, translators and support staff will work with you individually to give you the best chance of success possible. We know how difficult and heart wrenching the process can be, and we will be with you every step of the way.