Asylum Application Granted In Own Right for Derivative Asylee

Our Client had been granted derivative asylee status as he was under 21 years old at the time his mother had her asylum application approved and his mother filed an I-730 petition on his behalf which was approved.  However, our client never filed an I-485 application to become a United States permanent resident application until after he turned 21.  In response our client’s green card application USCIS indicated that since he was over 21 he had to be granted asylum in his own right in order to be given United States permanent resident status.

Our immigration lawyers in Philadelphia filed a nunc pro tunc asylum application on his behalf.  Our client was born in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.  When he was 15 years old his mother fled Zaire and sought refuge in the United States. His mother was granted asylum in the United States and as a result he was able to accompany her as a derivative asylee.  He applied for asylum and withholding of removal in his own right due to fear of persecution on account of his  political opinion in opposition to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Our client’s mother fled Zaire to save her life and the lives of her children.  In Zaire his mother was a member of an association of that fought for women’s rights.  In particular, his mother held a leadership position and was actively engaged in exposing and reducing the mistreatment suffered by women.  Such actions were perceived by the government as being politically motivated.  The government accused our client’s mother of encouraging women to revolt against the government. For this reason, his mother was arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned.  While imprisoned, his mother was tortured and raped.  Also, prior to his mother seeking refuge in the United States our client’s father was killed in Zaire by a government soldier.

Our client feared for his life if he had to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Like the previous governments, the current government commits atrocities and violations of human rights.  Current government security forces and local militia groups torture, rape, and kill people who they consider to be political opponents.  Our client indicated that he would be subjected to severe physical and mental suffering because of his family ties if he were forced to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo.  This is because in the Democratic Republic of Congo the government security forces and local militia groups routinely punish individuals solely on the basis of being part of a family where one family member is considered a political threat.  Our client indicated that nothing had changed in the Democratic Republic of Congo since his family fled the country.  He feared that if he returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo he would suffer the same fate as his father due to his political opinion in opposition to the government and his family’s opposition to the government.

Following an interview at the USCIS asylum office wherein we provided our client legal representation, our client’s asylum application was granted and the processing of his I-485 application is now continuing.

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