Defensive asylum is a form of protection offered to people who have fled their home country because of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. In the United States, asylum seekers may apply for asylum on a defensive basis when they are in deportation proceedings.
Affirmative asylum, on the other hand, is a way to apply for asylum directly to immigration authorities without being in deportation proceedings. Individuals seeking affirmative asylum must demonstrate that they meet the same requirements as defensive asylum, i.e., that they have suffered persecution or fear persecution in their home country for one of the reasons mentioned above.
The main difference between defensive asylum and affirmative asylum is the timing of the application. Defensive asylum is applied for during a deportation proceeding, while affirmative asylum is applied for independently. It is important to note that in order to apply for asylum, whether affirmative or defensive, the applicant has one year from the date of entry into the United States to submit his or her application, otherwise, with certain exceptions, he or she would lose the opportunity to apply for asylum.
In summary, defensive asylum and affirmative asylum are forms of protection for persons who have fled their home country due to persecution. The main difference between the two is the timing of the application and the circumstances under which the application is made.
If you have questions about political asylum in the United States, contact us to schedule a legal consultation.