Foreigners who have extraordinary circumstances for the delay in filing will be allowed to file for asylum after one year of entry. Extraordinary circumstances are determined on a case-by-case basis. However, the following examples have been successful: serious illness of the foreigner, death or serious illness of a member of the foreigner's immediate family, and hiring another attorney whose services were useless.
Withholding of Removal.
Even though asylum has a one year filing deadline, foreigners can still avoid deportation by applying for Withholding of Removal. That type of removal has NO deadline. While the legal standard is slightly different, the procedure and application is the same. Withholding does not lead to residency, but it will allow foreigners to remain legally in the United States without fear of deportation to their home country.
Changed Country Conditions.
If the conditions in the home country have worsened since the foreign nationals left, they may also file for asylum after the deadline. For example, family members may have become recent targets of the government, police or armed groups.
In addition, foreigners who have outstanding orders of deportation, but now fear persecution in their home country may reopen their case with the court based on changed country conditions. An asylum application must accompany this motion.
A foreigner who fears harm if forced to return to their home country, but who has been in the United States for more than one year should immediately seek the assistance of an experienced attorney. Although the author is a Board-certified immigration attorney, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship..
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