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Affirmative Asylum

Washington D.C. Law Firm for Affirmative Asylum Petitions

Successfully seeking asylum can lead to various benefits, including the benefit of staying and working in the United States. You can seek asylum through an affirmative process or a defensive one. The affirmative asylum process is used by those who have arrived in the United States and wish to seek legal protections though they are not yet in removal proceedings in immigration court. The affirmative asylum process is complex and carries risk, and it should be handled by experienced counsel who understands how to gather evidence and prove you deserve this form of relief. If you believe you may need to use the affirmative asylum process, you should discuss your circumstances with seasoned Washington D.C. asylum lawyer Matthew T. Famiglietti. Requesting affirmative asylum must be handled carefully and strategically.

Affirmative Asylum Process

In order to show you are eligible to apply for asylum in the United States, we will need to prove you meet the definition of refugee. We’ll need to establish you are the victim of past persecution or you reasonably fear future persecution based on a group to which you belong. In order to affirmatively apply for asylum on your behalf we will fill out and file your application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for evaluation within one year of your entry into the country.

While it is possible to have asylum approved if you miss the one-year deadline, our lawyers will need to prove that you didn’t apply due to extraordinary circumstances, such as a medical emergency. You may be able to apply for asylum when there have been documented changes in the situation in your home country that affect whether you would be persecuted. For example, if you entered the country and came to Washington D.C. as a journalist for work two years ago but can no longer go home because the social group to which you belong is now being persecuted, we could argue that the clock for the one-year deadline would start when the conditions in the country changed, not when you entered.

One of the important aspects of the affirmative asylum process is that while your application is pending, assuming it is in good faith and you don’t violate other laws, you will not be considered in the country unlawfully for purposes of determining whether you are eligible for a green card for a different reason or if you need to leave and want to come back.

While your affirmative application is pending, however, you will not yet have the rights of a citizen or green card-holder. It is wise to talk to us as soon as you can after coming into the United States as the member of a group persecuted in your home country so that we can sort through the best available approach for relief.

Proving You’re Entitled to Asylum in Washington D.C.

When applying for affirmative asylum, our lawyers will need to present a substantial amount of evidence to prove that certain dangerous conditions exist in your home country and that you are, in fact, a member of a group that faces harm in your home country. The USCIS will evaluate the application and schedule you for an interview at a local field office. If you are already in a defensive posture in removal proceedings, you will need to file a defensive application for asylum and you won’t be able to apply affirmatively. We may need to use a slightly different strategy for these applications, which is one reason it is important to talk to experienced attorneys.


The interview for your asylum application is conducted by an asylum officer who is considered neutral but is from USCIS. He or she will ask you questions about your request for asylum. If the office denies your application, however, your case will be referred to an immigration judge. Here, you’ll have the chance to defend yourself from deportation and seek asylum again.

Hire Our Washington D.C. Firm to Represent You

Asylum can be a life-changing form of relief for a person who fears persecution. If you’ve come into the country and find that you can’t go home again because of altered conditions, you should discuss your situation with our experienced Washington D.C. asylum attorney Matthew T. Famiglietti. Mr. Famiglietti represents refugees in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Fill out our online form or call the Law Office of Matthew T. Famiglietti at (202) 669-5880.

Please note, there is a consultation fee for any calls related to this practice area.

Client Reviews
Mr. Famiglietti is an extraordinary attorney. I went to him at the referral of a friend who had been helped by him. He was compassionate, professional, and relentless as he advocated for me. I highly recommend him and his excellent staff. A.T.
Matthew Famiglietti is a great attorney he provided me with excellent legal representation and I was very blessed to have him. K.B.
I am truly blessed to be represented by Mr. Famiglietti. He is approachable, knowledgeable, understanding and was well prepared to solve my legal issue. Mr. Famiglietti treated me with sincerity and communicated effectively. I followed his advice and was truly surprised by the outcome of my case. I am most thankful that I listen to him and consider Mr. Famiglietti a friend for life. I recommend his services without hesitation. L.J.L.
I'm not a very formal person and Matt made me feel comfortable at our first meeting. He is a competent, sharp and very insightful, asking the right questions and giving you a game plan. Above all, he is honest about your case upfront. He was very patient and understanding that I was late and never had an attitude with me. I highly recommend Mr. Famiglietti. Thom K.
Mr. Famiglietti chose to represent me in my darkest hour. My health was failing and my employer was illegally terminating me. Mr. Famiglietti built a strategy and plan to bring to light my employers flawed ways. Matt gave me confidence in the way he built his plan. Matt knew all the laws pertaining to my workplace case. He gave me confidence and his representation gave me a favorable outcome in my case. Jamere