Membership in a Particular Social Group


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The meaning of “a particular social group” requires that members of the group share a common immutable trait. Such traits may include sex, color, kinship ties, or past experience, that a member either cannot change or that is so fundamental to the identity or conscience of the member that he or she should not be required to change it. Groups commonly pursing asylum based on particular social group are as follows:


Gender is recognized as a particular social group. The asylum applicant needs to make sure that they establish the relevant position of women before the law, including their standing in court, the right to lay a complaint and give evidence, divorce and custody law, the right to own property, the right to have or refuse and abortion, the right to vote, to marry the person of her choice, the right to an education, a career, and a job or other remunerated activities.


Family membership has been an accepted social group formulation in asylum claims as “kinship ties” were considered an immutable characteristic and form a valid particular social group. The family relationship needs to be one central reason for feared persecution in order to succeed in an asylum claim based on family.


An essential component of an asylum application for members of the LGBTQ+ community, will be proving that they are in fact members of the LGBTQ+ community. Relevant proof may include testimony or documentation by past partners or friends living in the United States. A deep understanding of country conditions related to LGBTQ+ rights is necessary in order to succeed on your asylum claim based on sexual orientation.


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