Refugee Vs. Asylee, What’s the Difference?
When speaking about immigration matters, many people tend to use the terms “asylum” and “refugee” interchangeably. While there are many similarities between filing a petition for asylum status and filing a petition for refugee status, there is one important difference that dictates whether you will be a refugee or an asylee:
- If you are outside of the United States, you should petition for refugee status
- If you are at a point of entry or are already in the United States, you should apply for asylum status.
That being said, both petitions have certain requirements, the most important of which is that you prove that you were actually under persecution for certain protected factors, which include:
- Political opinion
- Membership in a certain social group
Membership in a social group must be based on an integral part of you and can include sexual orientation or even gender if you were subjected to gender-based persecution.
You must demonstrate that you were the victim of either serious threats of harm or actual harm by either the government of your home country or by a group that is rebelling against the government. Inflicted harm can be physical, economic, or psychological. Immigration officials will have to be convinced that your fear of persecution is credible in order for your status to be approved. If approved, you may obtain a permit to work and permission to live in the U.S. legally. One year later, you can apply to obtain a green card and be a permanent resident and you can be eligible to apply to become a U.S. citizen four years later.
If you are under persecution or have already fled your country and entered the U.S. due to persecution, it is important that your petition is thoroughly completed to prove that you qualify for refugee or asylum protection. Many people do not realize the importance of the information they present to immigration officials and find that their status request is denied. It is important to seek help from a highly experienced immigration attorney who understands the process of applying to be a refugee or asylee.
Call 201-703-9400 today for more information.
The office of Ronald P. Mondello, Esq. Attorney at Law represents the rights of immigrants both in the U.S. and who are seeking to enter the U.S. If you need any type of immigration assistance in New York or New Jersey, please contact our office today to learn how we can help you.