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Withholding of Removal Immigration Lawyer Serving Washington, DC and Northern Virginia

If you are afraid of returning to your country of origin due to a reasonable expectation that you would experience serious harm, you may be able to seek relief through a process known as “withholding of removal.” Basically, withholding of removal is part of the Convention Against Torture. It is a form of legal protection you may be able to seek when you are a refugee physically present in the United States. If you secure withholding of removal, the federal government is prohibited from removing you to a country where your freedom or life would be threatened because of your nationality, political opinion, religion, race, or membership in a specific social group.

Withholding of Removal Explained

 

Withholding of removal is one type of protection available to those afraid of returning to their country of origin. As mentioned, it prohibits the U.S. government from removing you to a country where your freedom or life would be threatened because of your nationality, political opinion, religion, race, or membership in a specific social group.

Establishing Eligibility for this Protection

 

Generally, the requirements associated with securing withholding of removal are much higher when compared to filing a petition for asylum. For example, to obtain protection through withholding of removal, your DC immigration attorney will need to prove it is more likely than not you would be persecuted or tortured in your country of origin if you were removed. However, unlike asylum, you can apply for withholding of removal at any time, even years after you first entered this country.

 

Furthermore, factors of your case that might otherwise prevent you from getting asylum may not prevent you from being granted withholding of removal. This is critical because there are discretionary factors that can affect whether you obtain asylum; a judge who believes you do not deserve asylum will not be able to deny you withholding of removal when you qualify.

 

Additionally, the benefit of applying for withholding of removal is that it is mandatory if you are eligible. Basically, this means the official with the government who is tasked with determining your case is not able to determine whether you are entitled to relief using subjective criteria. Instead, if our DC immigration attorney is able to show you are eligible for withholding of removal, the federal government does not have discretion about whether to provide protection. Once your DC immigration lawyer makes the requisite showing, the government must grant you this form of relief.

Proving Eligibility 

 

To prove you are eligible for withholding of removal, your immigration lawyer in DC and Northern Virginia will need to show the following: 

 

  1. You are refugee and 

  2. There is a clear probability that you will be persecuted by the government or a group outside the control of the government if you return to your country of origin. 

 

There is a presumption that you will be persecuted in the future in your country of origin when your DC immigration attorney can prove you were persecuted in the past. Clear probability is a high legal standard. This would require your DC immigration lawyer to show it is more likely than not you would be persecuted if you return to your country of origin because of a protected characteristic. Your immigration attorney in DC will need to present the judge with extremely convincing evidence to make this showing.

Mandatory Protection

 

Unlike asylum, you can apply for withholding of removal any time. Reasons that could stop you from getting asylum do not apply to withholding of removal. However, there are some limits that make it important to consult a skilled immigration lawyer in DC and Northern Virginia. For example, if you persecuted others, you would be prohibited from securing withholding of removal. Similarly, if you were convicted of serious crimes, you would be prohibited from applying for withholding of removal. In addition, if you were convicted of terrorism, you would not be able to obtain withholding.

 

In some cases, you can be eligible for withholding of removal even though you’re barred from applying for asylum, but your legal counsel will need to present stronger evidence. Protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) is another mandatory form of relief. When applying for asylum, it may actually be worthwhile to apply for both withholding of removal and CAT protection. To decide the best course of action, retain the services of an effective DC immigration attorney. 

The process for securing withholding of removal can be challenging to navigate alone. Because this process involves high stakes, it is extremely important to retain the services of Edwin Palacio, a skilled immigration lawyer in DC and Northern Virginia. Edwin will go to work immediately on your behalf to help ensure your asylum petition is granted.

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