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Asylum protects people from oppression, persecution, and violence in their home countries. You must meet the set legal criteria to qualify for asylum in the United States. However, these criteria can be difficult to prove without legal representation.

Certain distinct factors could disqualify you from asylum and impact your chances of getting protection from the U.S. Knowing the factors that could prevent you from getting asylum makes the application process easier and faster.

In addition, hiring an asylum attorney can also help you navigate the factors that might discredit you and help you prepare a personalized strategy in your favor.

Common Disqualification Factors When Seeking Asylum in the U.S.A.

So, what are some of common disqualifying factors when seeking asylum in the United States? Let us find out:

Changed Country Conditions

When an applicant has established that they were persecuted in the past, there is the presumption that they may be persecuted in the future should they return to their country. It is the government attorney’s responsibility to prove that the conditions in the country from which the individual fled have improved.

If the government attorney can prove that the applicant will not face persecution if they return to their country, then the individual may be barred from asylum.

The government attorney may submit reports that show the country’s improvements, such as where an authoritarian dictator or suppressive political party has been replaced.

An experienced attorney can counter this argument by proving that the country’s conditions may still pose a risk to the asylum seeker.

We recommend hiring an experienced attorney to learn more about how changed country conditions can impact your application for asylum.

Internal Relocation

If you can relocate to another part of the country, the government attorney can move to disqualify asylum.

When an applicant is persecuted in one section of their country, the government attorney can recommend moving to another part of the same country where there is no fear of persecution rather than asylum.

However, the government must also prove that the relocation is reasonable and will not harm the applicant. When you hire an experienced attorney, they can argue that the relocation is unreasonable by proving that you might face other forms of oppression or harm.

One Year Bar

You must file for asylum within one year of moving to the United States. Should you fail to file within the first year, your application is barred, and you are disqualified from claiming asylum. However, this disqualification is inapplicable if you are fighting your case in detention.

Typically, the one-year bar arises in cases where an individual comes to the U.S. under temporary status but fails to file for asylum with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service within 12 months.

The one-year bar may also arise if you are released from parole or detention but fail to file for asylum within a year.

It is common for such cases to get transferred from one court to another and fail to be scheduled on the calendar within 12 months of the applicant’s entry into the U.S. borders.

Whichever case applies to you, you must file for asylum within one year of entry into the U.S. borders.

Failure to do so will disqualify your application. Hiring an experienced asylum attorney ensures your case is scheduled within the year, as the law outlines.

In addition, an experienced asylum attorney can also help you prove extraordinary circumstances that prevented you from filing on time.

Crimes Committed Outside the U.S.

A crime does not have to happen within the U.S. borders to be a disqualifying factor. If an applicant commits crimes outside the country, it can disqualify their asylum application. Typically, the government may be unable to check your criminal records in another country.

However, some counties cooperate with the U.S. government and provide an individual’s criminal history upon request. Applicants who may have committed gang-related crimes in the country they are fleeing may be ineligible for asylum should the government uncover their criminal history.

Problems may also arise when an individual commits a crime within the U.S. borders before submitting their application for asylum or while their application is pending.

Firm Resettlement Bar

You may also be disqualified from seeking asylum if you resettled in another country after fleeing from your home country before moving to the United States.

For instance, a refugee may flee their home country due to persecution as a result of religious, tribal, or political affiliations and settle in a neighboring country.

In such instances, the government attorney may argue that the refugee is firmly resettled in that country and does not need asylum in the United States.

The settlement is considered firm if the refugee is offered resettlement with equal employment and education opportunities and permanent legal status.

Should an applicant only get temporary legal status or get denied equal employment and education opportunities, an asylum attorney may argue that the applicant is not firmly resettled.

Consequences of Asylum Disqualification

Unfortunately, the consequences of asylum disqualification can be severe. For instance, if you pursue affirmative asylum and cannot prove past persecution or discrimination based on your political, social, and religious affiliations, you may find yourself in removal proceedings.

Removal proceedings complicate your situation and require you to navigate numerous legal procedures and possibly return to your home country.

Should a judge or an immigration officer find you ineligible for asylum after being granted protection, you might miss your chance of becoming a legal permanent resident.


To avoid disqualification when seeking asylum, consider working with a dedicated attorney. An experienced attorney can work with you throughout the process and help you understand the factors that might disqualify your asylum application.

It is common to face various setbacks during the application process. However, consult an attorney and seek a case assessment if you face extreme setbacks or are ineligible for asylum.

An asylum attorney helps protect your rights and offers personalized legal guidance based on the unique circumstances of your case. Contact an asylum attorney to determine your eligibility for asylum in the United States.