Immigrants who are applying for asylum in California or anywhere else in the United States will file either an affirmative or defensive application. Those who are filing an affirmative asylum application must do so within a year of the last time that they arrived in America. Furthermore, they must be in the United States when they apply for asylum. After filing Form I-589 with the United States Custom and Immigration Services (USCIS), a hearing will be scheduled.
An officer may either approve the application or send it to an immigration judge. Those who have been selected for removal will file a defensive asylum application. At a court hearing, the applicant may be able to offer evidence as to why he or she should stay in the country. An attorney could represent an individual at such a hearing, and an attorney for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will also present an argument.
After hearing arguments, the applicant may be granted asylum or some other relief from deportation. However, if an individual is not eligible to stay in the United States, he or she will be ordered to leave the country. It is worth noting that the affirmative process of applying for asylum is non-adversarial in nature while the defensive asylum process is. Interpreters are made available to those going through a defensive asylum proceeding.
Those who are deemed to be refugees may be allowed to stay in the United States if they face danger in their home countries. However, there is no guarantee that a person will be granted asylum. An attorney could help an individual fill out paperwork or prepare for an interview with an immigration officer. In some cases, having legal counsel will increase the chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in a court hearing.