Practice Areas
LGBT Issues

Asylum

In many parts of the world, members of the GLBT community are persecuted and subject to extreme cruelty by their governments and/or groups that their government cannot or will not control. For these persecuted people, asylum and related forms of relief are viable options.

To qualify for asylum, an individual must demonstrate past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a social group. For more information on asylum and other persecution-related forms of relief from removal see the section on Asylum and Persecution.

Generally speaking, members of the GLBT community are recognized as having a membership in a particular social group, thus allowing them to apply for asylum or withholding of removal. Our next step is to demonstrate the requisite levels of persecution in the home country. Asylum relief is not appropriate for all countries as not all countries persecute people based on being a member of the GLBT community. For example, it would be much easier for a gay man to win an asylum claim from a country in Africa where homosexuality is criminalized than from a country like Canada where same-sex marriage is recognized.

At times, heterosexuals who are HIV positive are also persecuted based on their HIV status. This can give rise to independent asylum claims for heterosexuals based on having HIV. It can also give rise to a viable asylum claim that a heterosexual is perceived to be GLBT, but in reality is not.

At Joseph Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in handling complex GLBT/HIV+ asylum claims. We will work closely with our client and other professional organizations to assure that your asylum application is a complete and thorough representation of how you have either been persecuted in the past or would be subject to persecution in the future based on being a GLBT person, or even merely suspected of being a GLBT person.