I filled my Asylum application, now what?

I filled my Asylum application, now what?

If you are one of the asylum seekers in America waiting years for an asylum interview, you may be wondering how you can best use this time to prepare yourself for your interview.

  1. Apply for a work permit: Remember, 150 days after an asylum applicant files her asylum application, she can apply for a work permit, and once her work permit is granted, she can begin working.
  2. Maintain contact with witnesses:Because a few years may pass before you go to your asylum interview, you should stay in contact with individuals who have written you letters of support or who have agreed to serve as witnesses at your hearing. For witnesses back in your home country, it’s also vital to stay in touch so you can continue to monitor the human rights situation there.
  3. Continue to gather evidence supporting your asylum claim: If the newspapers in your home country write stories about anything that supports your asylum claim, make a copy of the article or email the website link to your attorney. If anything happens to any of your family members or close associates back home, make sure someone sends you evidence regarding the incident, such as police or criminal records, pictures, or hospital records.
  4. Save money to hire an attorney:Perhaps when you initially applied for asylum you did so without an attorney. Asylum applicants who are represented by attorneys are granted asylum cases at a greater rate than applicants who represent themselves.
  5. Consider seeking therapy for any mental health issues:For many asylum applicants, the trauma and torture they endured in their home country has left them suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you think you may be suffering from mental health problems, you should considering working with a therapist or psychologist who can help you work through the trauma you endured. While many asylum applicants come from countries where seeking therapy is a foreign concept, working with a therapist will help diminish some of your symptoms and may better prepare you for the stress you will face on the day of your interview or hearing. Also, once your therapist has gotten to know you and your past history, she may be willing to write a letter of support for your case, explaining your diagnosis and how it may stem from the trauma you endured. Often clients have to wait several months before they can get an appointment with a therapist, and then they must participate in several sessions with a therapist before the therapist will be willing to write an in-depth letter of support, so you should start looking for a therapist as soon as possible.
  6. Get involved with your local community: Making connections to others in your local community will give you the social support and distraction that you will need to make the time go faster. Also, if you get involved with local diaspora political opposition groups, and have evidence to prove your involvement, you can use this involvement to show the asylum officer or judge that you continue to openly oppose the government, just as you may have done in your home country.
  7. Change your address with USCIS each time you move: If you do not change your address, you may miss receiving interview or hearing notices. If you do not know how to change your address yourself, contact your immigration attorney for assistance.

By focusing on what actions you can take while waiting, hopefully you will be better prepared when the time finally comes for your hearing or interview. And remember, you’re not alone; thousands of others like you are also waiting!

Contact our experienced immigration lawyers in New York City today at (718) 407-0871 or online at https://www.prizant-law.com for creative solutions to our client’s complex immigration problems.