All You Need To Know About Asylum
Asylum is a humanitarian act extended to refugees seeking refuge and protection from persecution, fear of persecution, or danger in their country of origin. The procedure allows refugees to apply for protection in another country, and if granted the status of asylum, they can remain in the country and enjoy the same rights as citizens. This article provides an in-depth guide on all you need to know about asylum, including the definition of a refugee, the types of protection, the asylum process, and the benefits of asylum.
What is a Refugee?
A refugee is a person who flees their country of origin due to persecution, conflict, or fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Refugees are often forced to leave their homes, families, and communities behind in search of safety and protection. They are usually unable to return to their homes due to the danger they face, which may include torture, imprisonment, death, or discrimination.
Refugees are protected under international law, which defines a refugee as someone who meets certain criteria. The 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees define a refugee as a person who owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.
Types of Protection
There are two types of protection available for refugees seeking asylum. The two types are Refugee Status and Subsidiary Protection.
Refugee status is granted to people who meet the criteria for a refugee under international law. To be granted refugee status, an asylum seeker must demonstrate that they have a well-founded fear of persecution and that they are unable or unwilling to return to their home country due to this fear. They must also show that the persecution is based on one of the five grounds – race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group. Once granted refugee status, the individual is granted residency in the country of asylum and is entitled to a number of benefits, including the right to work, education, and healthcare.
Subsidiary protection is granted to people who do not meet the criteria for refugee status but still face a risk of serious harm if they return to their home country. The grounds for subsidiary protection are different from refugee status. An individual can be granted subsidiary protection if they face the death penalty, torture, or cruel or inhuman treatment, or if there is a real risk of indiscriminate violence in their home country. The rights of individuals granted subsidiary protection are similar to those granted refugee status.
The Asylum Process
The process of seeking asylum can be complex and challenging. It is important to understand the different stages involved in the asylum process to ensure that asylum seekers have a better chance of success. Below are the stages involved in the asylum process.
1. Initial Application
The first stage in the asylum process is the initial application. Asylum seekers can apply for asylum in the country where they arrive. They must fill out an application form and provide evidence to support their claim. They may be detained during this process, and an initial screening interview will be conducted to determine whether they have a credible case for asylum. If their case is deemed credible, they will be moved to the next stage of the process.
2. Substantive Interview
At the substantive interview, the asylum seeker will go into more detail about their claim for asylum. They will be asked about their home country, why they left, and why they fear persecution if they return. The interview will be conducted by a trained asylum officer who will assess the credibility of the claim. If the asylum seeker is successful at this stage, they will be granted refugee status or subsidiary protection.
3. Appeals Process
If an individual’s application for asylum is unsuccessful, they have the right to appeal. This is an important stage in the process as it allows individuals to challenge the decision made by the asylum tribunal. There may be several stages of appeal, and the process can take many months or even years. It is important to have the support of a lawyer or legal representative at this stage.
4. Recognized Refugee or Transitional Status
If an individual’s appeal is successful, they will be granted refugee or transitional status. This means they are recognized as refugees under international law. They will have the right to stay in the country, work, and access education and healthcare. If an individual is granted transitional status, they will be granted temporary protection and will need to reapply for asylum after a certain period.
Benefits of Asylum
Asylum has several benefits for individuals seeking protection from persecution, conflict, or danger. Below are some of the benefits of asylum.
1. Protection from Persecution
The most significant benefit of asylum is protection from persecution. Asylum seekers are granted the right to live in a safe and secure environment, free from the fear of persecution and discrimination in their home country.
2. Access to Education
Asylum seekers are entitled to access education, including primary, secondary, and tertiary education. Many countries offer free education to refugees, which enables them to improve their skills and secure better jobs in the future.
3. Right to Work
Individuals granted refugee or subsidiary protection status have the right to work and contribute to society. This helps them to integrate into society and become self-sufficient.
4. Access to Healthcare
Asylum seekers are entitled to access healthcare, including mental healthcare, which is essential for individuals who have experienced trauma and persecution in their home country.
Asylum is a humanitarian act that protects refugees from persecution, conflict, or fear of persecution. Asylum seekers must apply for protection in another country, and if granted asylum, they can remain in the country and enjoy the same rights as citizens. The process of seeking asylum can be complex and challenging. However, understanding the different stages involved in the asylum process and having the support of a lawyer or legal representative can increase the chances of success. Asylum has several benefits for individuals seeking protection, including access to education, the right to work, and access to healthcare.
The doctrine of asylum has been in practice as long as codified law has been in existence. Right of asylum, depending on the nature of the charge against someone who sought it, was generally available to most criminal defendants who pursued it and were concerned about their safety in the interim before a trial or other ruling. The Greeks, Egyptians and Hebrews all invoked elements of asylum refugee policy in some way, shape or form. However, political asylum, as it is commonly known today, behaves differently than it did in archaic practice and even but a few centuries ago.
As it was employed in medieval systems of sovereign rule, the idea of asylum was more closely tied to its definition in the religious sense, as a guilty party who sought “asylum” could do so by offering him- or herself as part of a public ceremony that would exculpate the offender of their guilt before God and pave the way for their safe excommunication out of the country and compensation made to the church and the kingdom rather than capital punishment. In this day and age, on the other hand, asylum applies more to status of a foreigner in another country based on humanitarian standards, and often follows very specific determinations.
Analogous to aliens’ attempts to cross the Mexican-American border that put them at risk of serious consequences, so is a person’s bid for asylum in a desperate attempt to avoid deportation. However, in terms of the processing of asylum claims to verify whether or not they are valid, this can often involve considerable amounts of time and last chances for the prospective deportee, even if his or her changes are fairly dubious.
The same leeway that benefits genuine asylum seekers in completing the application process may thus be able to shield the perpetrators of fraudulent attempts at obtaining asylum at least temporarily, if not earning them at least withholding of removal (i.e. safety from extradition
While the terms “asylum” and “refugee” may be used synonymous by many, and the government form for a relative or spouse to come to America based on asylum or refugee status is the same, according to the separate systems of benefits afforded to asylees and refugees in the United States and according to definitions both here and abroad, it is important to properly categorize them.
Asylum, most commonly, deals with protection for individuals who seek protection based on political reasons, and most usually is applied for by individuals, whereas refugees are commonly denoted by more numerous amounts of migrants. Those who qualify for asylum and refugee status as recognized by the federal government also differ based on whether or not application for permanent residence is mandatory after one year of residence and whether or not they can put in for Social Security; asylum applicants can.