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Immigration News: ERITREANS SEEKING ASYLUM IN UNITED STATES

Updated: Oct 13, 2021

In 2021 (October through March), Eritreans had a 63% grant rate on asylum applications



For years, thousands of people per month have fled Eritrea. Reasons to flee include persecution based on religion, opposition to the country’s policy of requiring indefinite multi-year and even multi-decade national service, and other oppressive conditions. The majority of the Eritrean refugees go to Sudan and Europe, but many arrive in the United States as well. In the period 2010-2020, over 18,000 Eritreans entered immigrated to the US – constituting the ninth largest nationality of immigrants coming to the United States and 3% of all such immigrants.

Migration Policy Institute, Refugees and Asylees in the United States, May 13, 2021.


Applicants for asylum in the United States must establish that they have suffered persecution in the past in the county of their nationality (such as Eritrea), and/or have a “well founded” fear of persecution in the future. The persecutor must either be the government, or someone that the government is unwilling or unable to control. To obtain asylum, one central reason for the persecution must be the applicant’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Asylum applicants must generally apply for asylum within one year of arrival in the United States, but there are some exceptions to this one-year deadline.

There are documented abuses of the Eritrean Government persecuting people who practice unauthorized religions, who oppose the county’s policies of requiring indefinite military or other indefinite national service, or who oppose other government policies or practices. Such government actions can provide the basis for an asylum claim in the United States.

In the first half of federal fiscal year 2021 (October 2020 through June 2021), United States decisions on asylum applications for Eritreans had a 68% grant rate, and 14% denial rate (with the balance having other dispositions). Executive Office of Immigration Review, Adjudication Statistics. Eritreans, along with Ugandans, have the highest United States asylum grant rate of any nationality during that period. Nevertheless, any asylum case is dependent on the facts of the specific case – not statistics or any other projection.

This article does not constitute legal advice. One should consult an attorney for advice on any specific situation.


Call Immigration Attorneys in Trenton, NJ: 609-394-1000

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