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How can I travel abroad after I got political asylum?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Political asylum

I was granted political asylum two months ago in New York and now I want to travel (not in the country from which I asked the asylum) for 4 to 6 months in South America. How do I get my travel passport if I still need to apply for a green card in a year? Where can I read more information about it? Do I need a lawyer for that process(of getting a travel passport)?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

FIle for and get Refugee Travel Document and travel away. You should have asked the attorney who represented you in your asylum case. You can only do brief and casual trips. Remember that. 6 months is neither brief nor casual.

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What if I get a letter from psychologist that I need recreation time to see mother-Nature(mountains, forests etc) as a part of his therapy? Will it be logical to go for 3-4 months until my depression is over? It is actually my case....

Posted

You use your own passport, and you need a refugee travel document. Google USCIS form I-131. I think I might consult an attorney for this one. It might be a few hundred bucks.

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Posted

If you hold refugee or asylee status and are not a permanent resident, you must have a refugee travel document to return to the United States.

This is not a legal advice or solicitation, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with an attorney. I work for Cardinal Risk Mangement and Cardinal Intellectual Property, IP service companies, but not law firms . I also am the president of Vepachedu Educational Foundation Inc., which is a non profit educational foundation. I also write cultural and scientific compliations for the foundaiton. I also teach at Northwestern university as a guest lecturer. I also provide some pro-bono guidance on immigration and other issues through Indian American Bar Association. I also have a contract with Cardinal Law Group, a law firm, for IP projects. All this information is on my profile at Avvo and also at Linkedin.

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Posted

Congratulations on being granted asylum. As for your question, you will need to get a refugee travel document. My suggestion is to go to the USCIS website and follow the instructions for completing Form I-131. Once you have the form ready to go, do yourself a favor and have an immigration attorney review it for you. It should cost very little or nothing at all.

Do not take long trips. Keep it short, less than six months. And remember, you'll be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence one year after you have been granted asylum. I strongly recommend that you do so immediately.

Have a great trip, and enjoy your newfound freedom.

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Asker

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Thanks a lot, Sir. I really appreciate Your time. May I ask you - 3-4 months of travelling is alright or is still considered long time? This is very important for me as my psychologist recommended me to take this trip as a part of his therapy...

Charles Richard Conroy

Charles Richard Conroy

Posted

I'm glad to see you're getting help. One issue that arises when an asylee wishes to travel overseas is that, when the time comes to apply for lawful permanent resident status as a refugee, the asylee is going to have to show that he or she has been physically present in the United States for at least one year after having been granted asylum. If an asylee is out of the United States for three to four months during the first year, that's three to four months longer to apply for permanent resident status. The fact is that a refugee travel document is good for up to one year. As attorneys, however, we caution against any extended departures from the Unite States while in asylee status, because such departures can lead to questioning by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon return to the U.S., even when the person has not traveled to the country of persecution. We're cautious because immigration law is a labyrinth, filled not only with rules and regulations but also individual officers who will improperly question a person granted refugee status. Again, I suggest you complete the I-131 and sit down with an attorney for a consultation. In your case, it might be that you need to find the right balance between how soon you can apply for lawful permanent resident status and how important it is for your mental health to delay such status and spend time overseas.

Asker

Posted

Thank you very much, Mr. Conroy. You helped me a lot and answered my question in detail and positive attitude. I wish you success in Your business and congratulate your clients with such a good lawyer!

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