Can I apply for asylum if I was convicted of a crime?

If you need help filing an asylum application, Lluis Law’s asylum lawyers can help you file your asylum affirmatively with USCIS or defensively before the court. Our asylum attorneys have more than 40 years of experience in representing refugees through the complex asylum process here in Los Angeles.

In some cases it is possible, but everything will depend on the nature of the crime for which was convicted. Some people have impediments to request and receive asylum for several reasons, this is what is known as asylum bars, among which has been condemned for a “particularly serious crime”.

The asylum seeker also could not think of lying or hiding from the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) the information related to the crime for which he was convicted, to avoid being taxed from an asylum bar. This is not a good idea under any circumstances.

The United States government will seek as much information as possible, starting with the criminal record of asylum seekers. Especially at present, in which both the procedure, the procedures and the application of the Immigration Law have undergone very profound changes that affect the asylum applications.

Asylum seekers are fingerprinted in order to maintain a record of entry to the United States but also to verify the criminal record of the applicant, inside and outside the country.

It should also be remembered that on Form I-589 and in the asylum interview, the applicant for this immigration benefit must mention any crime for which he or she has been convicted, as well as his criminal history. Because of not doing so and USCIS discovering that lied or omitted this information, could face an indictment for perjury, fines and other sanctions.

Bars for USCIS asylum grant

There are several circumstances or reasons why the immigration agency could exclude an immigrant from the asylum benefit. These are the following:

– Having been convicted of a “particularly serious crime”, meaning that it represents a danger to the United States.

– Committing a “non-political serious crime” outside the US.

– Order, incite, assist or participate in the persecution of a person for political reasons, race, nationality, religion or belonging to a certain social group.

– Represent a danger to US security.

– Have been resettled firmly in another country, prior to their arrival in the United States.

Even if the applicant meets the definition of “refugee” established by the Immigration Law, could not apply for asylum either, as these criminal asylum bars are mandatory. Nor could be eligible for asylum through a derivative application, that is, through the spouse or the beneficiary’s father or mother, because the bar prevents it.