Currently, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and transsexual individuals may seek asylum based upon membership in a particular social group.
In order to obtain LGBT asylum in the U.S., an individual must apply within one year of entry or show that changed conditions (such as coming out within the last year or new anti-gay laws or policies in their home country) prevented their timely filing.
The asylum-seeker must prove to the U.S. government that they have been harmed OR will be harmed or threatened with harm by their government OR people the government is unwilling OR unable to control because they are gay, lesbian or transgendered. One form of harm amounting to persecution may include being forced to engage in conduct that is not physically painful or harmful, but is nonetheless abhorrent to an individual’s deepest beliefs (i.e. remaining “closeted”).
Asylum can be applied for at any time. For those LGBT asylum seekers who do not meet the one year filing deadline, they may still be eligible for Withholding of Removal, which essentially stops deportation and provides for a work permit, but lacks a path to obtaining a green card.
At the Law Office of Michael G. Murray, P.A., we can help you seek protection from future persecution based on sexual identity, gender identity, or HIV status. We keep up with the law on LGBT asylum and on conditions across the globe to help our clients achieve the best possible results in immigration courts. Contact our office to schedule a consultation by email, phone, or in person. Information about your sexual orientation and/or identity will remain confidential.