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Blandon Law Immigration

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Happens if I Don't Win My Case at the Asylum Office?

     When the Citizenship and Immigration Service does not approve an asylum application, the Immigration Officer refers the foreign national to Immigration Court. Sometimes referral is the result of CIS not having jurisdiction over that type of case. For example, foreigners who apply more than one year after their arrival in the United States are often referred to Immigration Court. In that way, an Immigration Judge can determine whether the exceptions to the one-year deadline apply.
     The removal proceedings before the Immigration Judge are divided into two different types of hearings. At the Master Hearing, the foreigner's identity, removability and possible relief are discussed. If there are any questions as to whether the foreigner should be deported, the Immigration Judge schedules additional Master Hearings to discuss those issues. The evidence proving asylum is offered at an Individual or Merits Hearing. At this kind of meeting, the foreign national will provide testimony and will be cross examined by an attorney representing the Department of Homeland Security. The Immigration Judge will also question the applicant and review all documentary proof. More than ever, proof of persecution through documents -- as opposed to proof that is presented only through testimony -- is required to win an asylum case.
     Whether or not the foreign national wins the asylum case, an appeal can be filed later with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). And if the foreigner does not win before the BIA, she may be eligible to appeal to the federal courts.

General Frequently Asked Questions

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