What Are the Key Elements of Proving a Well-Founded Fear of Persecution?
Get Legal Help Today
Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021
It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.
We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.
The key to an asylum claim is proving that you face a well-founded fear of persecution for one of five reasons: race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group. Or, you qualify because you can prove you were forced to undergo sterilization or an abortion or fear genital cutting. This well-founded fear standard does not necessarily mean torture, killing, imprisonment, or harassment or that you are specifically targeted for persecution or that you have an economic hardship or a repressive government.
You must be very clear about why you fear persecution. You can make a case by convincing the court that you have suffered persecution in the past and that the conditions in your country have not changed. Or you can show that it is likely you will suffer persecution if returned to your country. Your own testimony may be enough if it is compelling, consistent, believable, and specific. Your case is strengthened if you bring corroborating proof, such as newspaper articles, affidavits of witnesses or experts, journals, books, doctors’ statements, photographs, etc., to the hearing.
The courts recognize the difficulty asylum applicants face in proving a claim. It can be an emotional nightmare for those traumatized by events that forced them to flee their homeland. Simply having a discussion in the first place and in a language that they are grappling to learn are often daunting tasks. Many cannot stomach the discussion and questioning. It is for these reasons that we don’t advocate representing yourself; get professional legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney.