Do I need to hire an immigration lawyer for my asylum case?

An asylum lawyer or immigration lawyer can increase your chance of a successful asylum application. As described in an American Bar Association report, in 2003, 39% of non-detained represented asylum seekers received political asylum. Only 14% of non-detained unrepresented asylum seekers were successful. Among detained asylum seekers, 18% of those represented by an asylum lawyer were successful. Only 3% of those who were not represented were granted asylum. In addition, 25% of asylum seekers with legal representation who were initially detained at a port-of-entry without proper documents were successful, compared to 2% approval rates for those without representation.

What will an asylum lawyer do for you?
Your immigration lawyer will assist you by:

  • Confirming that you meet the basic requirements for political asylum
  • Preparing your asylum application
  • Identifying and collecting evidence to support your asylum application
  • Coordinating expert testimony if needed
  • Drafting court motions and briefs
  • Conducting direct and cross-examination during your hearing in immigration court
  • Identifying witnesses to testify at your asylum hearing

You are not required to have an asylum lawyer represent you in your asylum application. But, as the above numbers show, being represented by an immigration lawyer can greatly improve the chances of a successful asylum application. If you cannot find a lawyer to represent you, you should make sure that you take the time to learn about the details of asylum law before you submit your application. Asylum law is very complex and you should be careful to avoid making mistakes with your application that could have been avoided if you took the time to learn the details of asylum law.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.

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