For Iraqi nationals, it is easier to receive asylum in the United States thanks to a special program. But how exactly can an Iraqi refugees request asylum?
Asylum for Iraqis through USRAP
Many Iraqis who fight against the human rights violations in Iraq and who support U.S. government, are eligible for the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). If you are an interpreter, an engineer, or a cultural consultant, and you helped the U.S. army, the Iraqi government of your home country may persecute you. You may, therefore, seek asylum in the United States to avoid persecution.
If you have already left Iraq, you need to contact a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office to get help with your case. Once you register with a UNHCR office, they will help you resettle to a third country. Possibly, a UNHCR office will refer you to the U.S. through the USRAP program.
But you can also enter the United States using Direct Access, which we discuss below.
Asylum for Iraqis through Direct Access
The other possibility for you to arrive the United States is so-called Direct Access, or Priority-2. To benefit from Priority-2, you must be:
- An Iraqi translator or interpreter who helped the U.S. government or military forces in Iraq.
- An Iraqi employee who directly worked for the U.S. government.
- An Iraqi employee who worked for an organization that was funded by the U.S. government.
- A relative to an Iraqi refugee who was an employee or translator as described in the previous points.
If any of the above applies to you, you may arrive to the United States and apply for asylum. You will need to provide documents to prove that you belong to the category of Iraqi refugee that we listed.
Unfortunately, the current U.S. President administration strives a lot to ban Iraqis from entering the United States. Iraqi asylum seekers who helped the U.S. may be vetted to arrive to the U.S. To get help during the asylum process, we advise you to contact a professional immigration lawyer in the U.S. A lawyer will be able to present your case to USCIS or Immigration Court and support your right for asylum.