- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
If you fall under one of the above categories, you may be eligible to apply for asylum.
In addition, sexual orientation and transgender status are also considered valid grounds for asylum (also known as the “gay asylum”) for many people from various countries. There are certain countries where the laws or political regulations are known to discriminate certain categories. For instance, USCIS considers that the current regime in Russia persecutes gay people on the level of the official legislation, Jehovah witness, certain political groups. When the persecution happens on the legislative level, it gives additional strength and sustainability to the asylum cases from such countries. However, in each specific asylum case, the applicant will need to meet the requirements set by law.
Some countries not only prohibit gay marriages but also make it illegal to express any emotions among the gay couples in public, calling it “propaganda of homosexuality”, and establish criminal penalties for such behavior. The United States supports sexual freedom to all members of the society, therefore, USCIS may grant asylum to the foreign members of the LGBT community if they suffer or fear to suffer persecution in their home countries.
The asylum process may take a long time depending on the facts in your case. Also, there are very strict deadlines and qualification requirements in the asylum cases. You may need to consult with an attorney to determine your eligibility for asylum.
Once you are granted asylum, you will be able to work in the United States and bring your family over. After the recent Supreme Court ruling on Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), it also became possible to bring foreign gay spouses to the United States.
One year after you were granted asylum, you can apply to adjust your status to a Lawful Permanent Resident (“Green Card”).
If you have any questions regarding asylum and would like to schedule a consultation with an attorney, please give us a call, send a Whatsapp message or complete our online contact form.