Q: Can I apply for asylum?
Am I able to apply for asylum if my concern about returning to my home country arises due to a naturally occurring disaster such as an earthquake, a volcano or a tsunami?
A: No. Asylum eligibility arises from past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Damage resulting from an environmental disaster such as an earthquake, a volcano or a tsunami would not give rise to a viable basis for an asylum claim. However, the Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a country for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the event of an environmental disaster.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.