Harassment based on sexual orientation is not new, especially in some countries where people who prefer members of the same gender are still stigmatized. Because of this, it is sometimes simply not safe to stay at home, and then representatives of the LGBT community are forced to look for another country where they are ready to receive them.

A great option is the USA: there you can remain yourself and not expect threats from neighbors and former friends. To do this, you need to get asylum. How to do this, what evidence to collect and what problems there is a chance to face — we will tell you in more detail.

Choose the appropriate category

First of all, you should know that refugees are divided into two categories:

  • Asylum Seeker (asylum seeker) — people who come to the US on a nonimmigrant visa and find they cannot return to their home country. They seek asylum on the grounds of persecution by the authorities or various social groups;
  • Refugee people who enter America under a special program. As a rule, in their home country they are threatened by imminent danger on the basis of, for example, civil war or genocide. Such asylum seekers spend many months in a third country where refugee camps are located, and only then, if they are granted status, they move to the United States.
  • Important:

among the Russian-speaking representatives of the LGBT community, there are much more of those who received asylum as Asylum Seeker.

Finding your criteria

An asylum seeker must prove that they have been harassed in the past and are likely to be harassed in the future due to one of the following criteria. Among them:

Collecting documents for applying for asylum

The most difficult thing in obtaining political asylum is to prove that you are really oppressed and persecuted, so returning to your homeland is simply dangerous. But a list of evidence is far from the only thing you need to provide.

In order to apply for asylum, you need:

  • immigration form I-589;
  • declaration, your detailed personal statement;
  • Documents you use to support your claim — police reports, medical reports, witness statements, and anything that will help you convince the Immigration Service that you are a genuinely harassed member of the LGBT community;
  • documents about the conditions in the country, which confirm that the government treats your social group negatively and you should not count on its protection.
  • We take into account that the persecution must really be such
    Persecution is harm done to you by either the government or another social group. It is important that the law either cannot control this group, or refuses to do so.
  • What can be regarded as government persecution:
    or example, regular police raids on gay clubs and detention of vacationers simply to teach a lesson.
  • What can be regarded as persecution by other social groups:
    the so-called «corrective» rapes of lesbians in order to prove that «nothing can replace a real man.»

Apply for asylum

You can apply for asylum only if you have already found yourself in the United States — it is useless to send documents from your home country. You can also submit a case when crossing the US border.

However, filing directly at the airport is an extreme case, so you should not focus on this option. They resort to it if they see that the officer is not eager to let a person through the border, because he saw immigration intentions. In such a situation, you need to convince him that you are in danger, and submit a case.

Why this is a bad option:

Then you will be placed in a detention facility while the waiting period for a verdict lasts. It’s not particularly pleasant or comfortable. In addition, you will have to quickly collect evidence, and there will be almost no time to find a lawyer and prepare a defense.

  • Important:

If you do not apply for asylum at the airport, you can do so within a year of entering the US.

Settling in America and starting to act

The first months in the States are the most difficult: you need to find housing and a competent immigration lawyer. Many asylum seekers live either in cheap hostels or in shelters with protective organizations — maybe not very comfortable, but inexpensive.

When it comes to choosing a lawyer, look for recommendations from charities and friends who have already become asylum holders and settled in the United States. Finding a reliable blind lawyer is a difficult task.


that if you are unable to pay, you will have to wait 3 to 6 months before you can find a tolerant and free specialist.

  • Important:

after you have applied for asylum, you are assigned an A-number — proof that you are legally in the United States and are waiting for a call for an interview.

I’m going to an interview

  • Recommended approval — recommendation for approval. In this case, you are sent for an additional check to make sure that you are clean before the law, and then, most likely, you should wait for full approval;
  • Referral to an Immigration Court — Referral to an Immigration Court — referral to the court. It is waiting for you if you are in the US illegally, because you have already exceeded all waiting periods, or if your non-immigrant status is expiring. In this case, everything depends on the verdict of the judge;
  • Notice of Intent to Deny — Intent to Deny. So maybe if you are in the country legally, but you were told “no” at the interview. You will then have 16 days to submit new written evidence of the need for asylum. If they are in your hands — get a second chance to convince the officer;
  • Final Denial — inal refusal. If you received it, you can later apply for asylum again, but only with new evidence and for a different reason.

Looking for support

Each of the stages of obtaining political asylum can go faster and easier if you do not go it alone, but enlist the support of an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible.

The company of Elizaveta Samorukova will come to your aid in any situation, even if at first glance it seems hopeless. We will do everything for you managed to stay in the United States, and in the future received American citizenship. Contact us!