Overall, any non-U.S. citizen victims of sexual violence and other forms of gender-based abuse may qualify for asylum status if their abuse was related to any violation of human rights. Generally, someone who experienced domestic violence or sexual assault in another country may apply for asylum in the U.S. if the government in his/her home country is “unwilling or unable” to protect the victim from the violence perpetrated from their attacker.
With the current U.S. government, it has become more difficult to win an asylum case based on domestic violence. In June 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a decision declaring that such cases should “generally” no longer be approved. Nevertheless, under the law, domestic violence survivors can still be found eligible for asylum if they meet the relevant legal requirements, and many applications are still being approved. Additionally, Sessions’ decision is being challenged in the courts.
Sexual Assault, the primary form of evidence
Furthermore, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has interpreted abuse broadly and has recognized sexual abuse, sexual assault, physical abuse, emotional abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse, or cruelty to constitute abuse. Therefore, there is no evidentiary requirement of police reports, medical records, or child welfare intervention to demonstrate the abuse. However, while the woman or children’s declaration attesting to the abuse is generally the primary form of evidence, corroborating declarations would strengthen the self-petition. There is no requirement regarding the duration of cohabitation, and there is no requirement that the child and parent lived together in the U.S. or that they live together at the time of application.
How Sethi and Mazaheri can help you with getting Asylum
We understand that these processes could seem complicated and hard to understand, especially when a rejection of your case could result in deportation. For this reason, our attorneys are prepared to help you navigate this situation. Our firm is up to date on the new regulations and available to assist you on the best path for you to achieve legal status. We aim to provide some much-needed reassurance and guidance during these challenging times. We are here to help you in your immigration journey.
If you or someone you know is exploring different ways to obtain legal status, we highly recommend contacting our office directly at (646) 405-9846.