As we’ve pointed out in previous blog posts, the Asylum process is a long and complicated one. In order for your asylum application to be successful, you will need a lot of evidence. This blog will focus on the kinds of evidence you will need for your asylum application.
First, it is important to remember that in order to qualify for asylum you must have been persecuted or fear persecution because of one of these five categories:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
Once you determine that you meet one of those categories, it is important for you to support your claim of persecution with supporting evidence. You may use a wide variety of sources as long as the source is credible and legitimate.
The first important piece of evidence will be your personal statement. This statement will outline the situation in your home country that led you to seek asylum in the US. It is important that this statement be as detailed as possible. Things to include are any religious or political affiliations of you or family members as well as racial or social group tensions in the country. You will then need to detail how you were persecuted or fear persecution because of those affiliations. Here is where you can explain harassment or intimidation you personally experienced or saw in your country to those particular groups you belong to. All the subsequent forms of evidence should support these claims.
An important piece of supporting evidence can be country condition reports about the country you came from. The US State Department as well as other sources publish reports about political and human rights conditions in various countries around the world. Another good source is the Human Rights Watch as well. These reports often document harsh political and human rights conditions particular groups are facing in specific countries.
Newspaper articles can also be another valuable piece of evidence as well. If you have legitimate news sources that have printed articles about groups you affiliate with being persecuted or harassed, they can be used as evidence. You may also collect affidavits from individuals that witnessed the events in your personal statement. Police reports and hospital records can also be used to support your claims. Affidavits or letters from doctors or psychologists about the injuries suffered or psychological trauma you endured from the events can also be used as evidence.
While this blog gives you a glimpse into the types of evidence needed for a successful asylum application, a skilled immigration attorney can give you much more information.