I came to the US from Pakistan in 2004 as a visitor and overstayed. About a year ago I converted to Islam to Buddhism. My family back home is aware of it and they have no problem with it. A month ago, in Pakistan at my brother's work place, two people showed up and handed him an envelope. In that envelope was a picture of mine taken from my facebook account and a Fatwa (religious ruling by a religious clergy) stating my punishment for converting from Islam to another religion was death and whoever cried out the sentence was not punishable by Islamic law and it was the duty of every good Muslim to help in bringing this sentence to me. Do I have grounds for an asylum and difficult it maybe to win? How long before I can adjust my status and legally be able to work?
Generally, an affirmative asylum application must be filed within one year of entry, but there are exceptions for changed circumstances like yours. You should consult an immigration attorney as soon as possible. You should not apply without the assistance of an attorney, because if your case is denied you will be placed in removal proceedings (deportation) because you are out of status.
Because you are filing more than one year after entry, you will have some hurdles to overcome and may be held to a higher standard. If you have a copy of the letter you referenced above, it would certainly help your case. You should seek out the assistance of an attorney to help you file an asylum application immediately.
I agree with my colleagues.
You need to retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts and advise you accordingly. Asylum cases are not easy to win.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
Yes, but as the other attorneys stated you will have to qualify for the exception to the 1 year deadline. This may be accomplished by the Fatwa ruling but more information is needed. My firm handles religious asylum claims in New York.
212 537 4407
Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general in nature, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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