Asylum in USA

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Can I File For Asylum if my Visa Expires?

February 4, 2013

Author: New York Asylum Attorney

Many asylum applicants are confused regarding the procedure of filing for asylum. Let’s say someone came here from Egypt (a country with recent change in country conditions) and now they face a question: shall they file for asylum in the US or shall they do it from their home country. Many potential applicants are afraid that by the time they prepare their application in the US, their visas will expire, and they become illegal.
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Asylum Denials Rates Are At Historic Low

January 17, 2013

What are the odds of getting asylum in the United States? According to the latest report, they are pretty good.

Asylum denials rates are at their historic low. The statistics released by TRAC Immigration shows that  the odds of an asylum claim being granted  reached a historic high  in FY2012, with only 44.5% being turned down.
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Russian Gay Artist Granted Asylum In The US

November 8, 2012

Author: New York Asylum Lawyer Alena Shautsova

A Russian gay artist Alexander Kargaltsev,  a recent  US asylee,  fled his motherland where  he was beaten and persecuted based solely on his sexual orientation. He was detained and abused there just because he participated in gay pride events.

His new life in the United States allows Alexander  to live  without a fear. He just opened an exhibition called “Asylum” that portrays gay and bisexual men, asylum seekers or those who already were granted the status.

The exhibition symbolises a new beginning an asylum seeker starts when deciding to expose his/her fears and step forward to the world asking for protection.

The gallery that is hosting the exhibition is 287 Spring .


October 23, 2012

Author: Law Office of Alena Shautsova


Asylum process starts before a person’s submits his/or her application.

First, one needs to collect or try to collect the supporting documents. Those are the documents that an applicant can use to demonstrate the truth of his/her statements. It can be medical records, police records, articles from the local newspapers, affidavits from witnesses, letters; proof of membership in a particular group or political party, documents confirming activities in different organizations, and rallies, photos. The list of possible supporting documents is endless. If a person cannot present certain documents, but it is reasonable to expect such documents to exist, a person should provide an explanation as to why the documents are missing.  Documents should be translated into English, even newspaper articles. The translator needs to make a statement that she/he possess sufficient knowledge of English and X (other language) and under the penalty of perjury states that the translation is accurate and complete. Translator’s signature should be notarized.

Authentication of documents for Asylum

Ideally, the official documents issued by the governmental bodies of other countries should be authenticated. It means that they should have an apostile. However, in asylee/refugee situation very often it is unpractical and impossible to submit for an authentication a document that will be used against this government later. As such, an applicant may submit the documents as is, expecting however an objection from the government, which be taken towards the “weight” of that documents.

Filling out the Asylum Forms

This step is very important as success of the whole process will depend largely on its accuracy.  A person’s biographical information is the first part of the form I-589 (Available on the USCIS website). Family members, school attendance, jobs held, membership in different organizations, unions, etc.: nothing should be left out or misrepresented. It is very important to remember that children of asylees may receive derivative status if they were included in the application before they turn 21, even if subsequently they aged out. The forms should be filled out in English.

If you have immigration concerns, consult a skilled New York immigration lawyer at 917-885-2261  and find out about your options.

The Law Office of Alena Shautsova is an Immigration law firm serving clients in Brooklyn, New York City, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and surrounding communities.