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Differentiating Between Asylum and Withholding of Removal in the U.S.

In the United States, individuals escaping persecution often seek refuge. While most apply for asylum, not everyone qualifies, leading to an alternative called “withholding of removal.” This article highlights the distinctions between these two forms of protection, explaining their basics, eligibility, application process, and key details.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a protective status for foreign nationals already in the U.S. or at its borders who meet the international refugee definition. Asylum pertains to those unable or unwilling to return home due to past or well-founded fears of persecution based on specific grounds.

Distinguishing Asylum from Withholding of Removal

Asylum recipients are shielded from deportation, can gain work authorization, and can sponsor family members. However, it’s discretionary, and some are ineligible. In such cases, individuals may be eligible for withholding of removal.

Understanding Withholding of Removal

Withholding of removal prevents deportation to the home country but lacks the benefits of asylum. It offers less certainty, no path to citizenship, and possible family separation. It doesn’t guarantee permanent protection or residence and is harder to win, with a higher burden of proof.

Winning Humanitarian Protection

To secure asylum, applicants must prove refugee status with evidence of past persecution or a “well-founded fear” of future persecution. Withholding of removal demands a higher burden of proof, necessitating a greater than 50 percent chance of persecution upon return or proof of past persecution.

In summary, asylum and withholding of removal offer different protections. While asylum provides more benefits, withholding of removal is more limited. Understanding these distinctions is vital for those navigating the U.S. immigration system. Jeelani Law Firm is here to assist you and help you with these processes. Let us help you today!

Jeelani Law Firm, PLC

JEELANI LAW FIRM, PLC is regarded as one of the top immigration law firms in the industry. We handle all immigration matters including family based adjustment of status/green card cases, citizenship filings, representation of businesses and employees when filing L1A/B Petitions, H1B petitions, and Permanent Labor petitions. Our firm also litigates immigration cases dealing with delayed adjudications as well as appellate matters before the U.S. Federal Courts, U.S. Immigration Courts, USCIS and the BIA. Given the complex nature of immigration law, inexperience can lead to many mistakes which may result in delays, denials, and loss of filing fees and valuable time. Contact our office and we will take care of the rest.