If you are in the United States seeking protection from torture in your country, you may be eligible to apply for protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT).
The UN Convention Against Torture defines torture as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for a variety of purposes.
Usually immigrants coming into the US seeking protection from a well-founded fear of persecution apply for asylum but if you specifically fear being tortured in your country, the CAT can protect you from being removed from the US to your country or to any country where you would be in danger.
It is very common to apply for CAT and asylum simultaneously because CAT acts as a backup if the asylum application is not approved. CAT is a different type of benefit from asylum because the applicant has to meet a higher standard in proving he/she will face or torture in their country of origin. Generally the applicant must prove that the chances of them being tortured in the future is more than 50%.
“CAT does not protect your removal from the US, you could be moved to a 3rd country where you might be considered safe”
There are numerous reasons why an applicant might not be eligible for Asylum but might be eligible for CAT. One of the benefits of CAT is that it differs from asylum and the torture you face or might face in your home country does not have to be in one of the five protected grounds: race, political opinion, nationality, religion and membership in a particular social group.
Officially according to CAT, the six elements of torture are:
- An intentional act
- Infliction of severe pain or suffering
- Under the custody or control of the offender
- For a broad array of wrongful purposes
- By or sanctioned by a public official
- Not arising out of lawful sanctions
It is very important to note that CAT does not protect you removal from the United States, you could be moved to a 3rd country where you might be considered safe. CAT also prevents you from sponsoring family members in the US or outside the US, applying for residency or US citizenship and travelling outside the US. If you travel outside the US you will not be allowed inside the US. You can however apply and maintain a valid Work Permit or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) making you eligible to work legally in the US.
Additional Asylum Resources:
If you think you may be eligible for Convention Against Torture,
Contact our Immigration Attorney for assistance on your case.