I am not traveling to the country from which I have asylum from. I am just going to a third country to meet up with my family. My passport from the country I have asylum from has 6 more months until expiration. Can I travel and come back or do I need a Refugee Travel Document? It cost $220 to get an RTD and it is only good for one year with no extensions. So it doesn't make sense to get a new one every year for the next 5 years until I can get citizenship. Are there any solutions?
In theory, when you travel on the homeland passport, you are traveling under the protection of the government of your homeland. That is a contradiction to your asylum claim, that your homeland government either persecuted you or was unwilling or unable to protect you. That contradiction potentially could be used against you when you seek to re-enter the US or even when you apply for naturalization. Therefore the best and safest procedure is to apply for the refugee travel document.
Colorado 303.442.8554/New Mexico 505.819.3303/ Ms DeSeguinâ€™s statement is general in nature, is not intended as legal advice, and should not be relied on as Ms DeSeguin does not have knowledge of all the relevant and necessary facts. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
As someone granted asylum in the US you need to apply for and travel with a Refugee Travel Document.
Your failure to travel with a Refugee TD and show it upon your return to the US, with the entry and exit stamps of the "third country" you visited will create problems for you at the US airport upon your return.
Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.
I would advise against travelling on your soon to be expiring passport from country of origin. The better move is to do what my colleague suggested - apply for a travel document.
Conceptually, when one uses a passport, one is presenting himself as a citizen of the country that issued the passport and asking for the protection of that country while traveling. Generally, an asylee should not be doing those things since, to qualify for asylum in the USA, the asylee told the U.S. government that she is unwilling to return to her country because of a fear of persecution there (in many cases persecution by the government). USCIS would want the asylee to apply for a Refugee Travel Document using Form I-131 and use that to travel.
This answer is informational only because you have a right to know the law and legal procedures. However, it is no substitute for legal assistance which is specific to your case. Every case is different. The attorney's responding to your question does not create an attorney-client relationship. For advice specific to you consult a competent attorney in his or her office.
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