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How to Write an Asylum Declaration: Past Persecution

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The asylum declaration is an essential tool used for an applicant to tell her story. The declaration should tell immigration officials why the applicant cannot return to her home country, based in part on the past persecution she suffered. It is typically written down as a sequence of events listed in chronological order where we see the progression of persecution.

To emphasize past persecution, the applicant should consider the following:

  • The declaration should be formatted in a sequence of events where the applicant begins by first introducing her personal background such as her place of birth and other general personal information. The applicant may want to consider including information about her family, and the environment she lived in.

  • The applicant should include a step-by-step timeline of any relevant information that demonstrates the persecution she endured and her inability to escape from such persecution.

  • The applicant should be as detailed as possible especially when she was specifically persecuted against to show exactly what type of persecution she went through and to better illustrate her case to an immigration officer.

  • The applicant should add what the persecutors’ motives were for their persecution and why she was targeted.

  • The applicant should also add if she is safe anywhere else in her country, since it could be argued by an immigration officer that she should simply pack up and move to another region in her home country.

The points above are essential factors immigration officials will consider when determining whether the applicant suffered past persecution. Applicants should also note, however, that this is just one factual claim. The other claim an applicant should make is that she has a “well-founded” fear of persecution. In other words, the applicant has not only suffered past persecution, but will also likely suffer future persecution if the applicant returns to her country. For more information on what to discuss about having a “well-founded” fear please refer to our other post.


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