If you have found yourself under persecution and want to leave your country, it may be possible to find asylum in another country, such as Canada or the United States. All countries that have signed the Geneva Convention will offer asylum to those who have been unfairly victimized in their home country. If you are going to seek asylum, you may have some questions about the process. The following are some of the most common concerns for those seeking asylum:
Before you will be granted asylum, you will first have to be classified as a refugee. A refugee is defined as anyone who is outside of the Geneva Convention who has either been severely persecuted due to race, religion, or gender or as one who has been forced to migrate from their homeland to a different territory. A refugee is also one who is persecuted based on their social or political affiliation and is at risk for harm based on their beliefs. To be deemed as a refugee, you will need to contact the embassy in the country in which you are seeking asylum.
The Asylum Process
Countries will often do all they can to help protect those who are in fear of persecution. You will be required to fill out quite a bit of application paperwork and have it properly submitted. Since asylum is only granted to those who are truly persecuted in their country, it will be necessary to provide a proper declaration stating exactly how you have been persecuted and why you fear returning to your country. You may also need to have corroborating statements from a witness or another person seeking asylum. Keep in mind that the process can be slow, and not everyone will receive asylum. Ideally, you should be sure to check for all the requirements before you leave your country.
Denial of Asylum
There is always a possibility that you will be denied asylum. This is often due to the Safe Third Country Agreement between the United States and Canada. Individuals are required to apply for asylum in the first of these two countries you enter. If you travel to one of these countries and are denied asylum in the United States, for instance, you are automatically denied asylum in Canada. The only possible exception to this rule is if you have family with legal status in the country you are trying to enter.
If you are hoping to seek asylum in the Untied States or Canada, it is ideal to contact an immigration attorney to help you with the process. It can be a very complex process, especially if you have additional family members who are coming with you.