(4) people who may be harmed because of their political viewpoints, or because of political viewpoints others may think they have;
(5) people who are members of a small group of individuals within their society that share life experiences (some examples include: family members of famous people; gay and lesbian individuals; wealthy individuals or families who own land or businesses; people who have testified in court);
(6) people who have suffered severe physical or mental abuses by agents of their home country’s government.
If you think you may qualify, remember that even though evidence is an important part of any case, you or your loved one should not decide you don’t have enough evidence without first consulting with an experienced immigration attorney. An experienced immigration attorney will discuss what kind of evidence you may be able to obtain and submit to an immigration judge to help win your case.
If you think you may qualify for asylum, the next question to ask is how long has it been since you have been outside the United States? If it has been less than one year, you may qualify to apply for asylum protection. If it has been more than a year since you have been outside the United States, but need to defend against a deportation, you could still qualify for the defense called: withholding of removal.
Withholding of Removal:
Withholding of removal is very similar to asylum. The main difference is you or your loved one can apply, even if it has been more than one year since you last entered the United States. In return for having this form of defense, immigration judges require more than they would for asylum.
Sometimes, an experienced immigration attorney can provide legal arguments to a judge explaining why you are eligible for asylum, even though it has been more than a year since you last entered the United States.
First, when your personal situation has changed in a way that now makes the thought of returning to your home country terrifying. For example, while you were present in the United States, a family member was elected to be mayor of a city in your home country, and as a result of this public position, your family has received threats or has been harmed.
Second, the situation in your country has changed to make the thought of returning terrifying. For example, a law prohibiting gay or lesbian marriage was implemented and you are married to a same-sex individual.