Overview of Services

Refugee and Asylum Claims

A refugee is defined as any person outside his or her country of nationality, or, in the case of a person having no nationality, his or her last habitual residence, who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable to unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country because of 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.

An asylee is a person who meets the above definition of a refugee but who is either physically present in the United States or is at a port of entry at the time he or she seeks refuge.

Having refugee or asylum status in the United States entitles a person to work, eventually seek a green card and petition for their spouse and children, as well as obtain many other benefits. However, the requirements for asylum and the scrutiny of petitions have become much more stringent, including that an asylum claim must be filed within one year of entry into the United States (with limited exception).

Convention Against Torture (CAT)

Making a claim under the Convention Against Torture follows the same application procedure as asylum, except that relief for withholding of removal under CAT does not entitle the successful petitioner to apply for a green card or petition for relatives.

To be considered for withholding of removal under CAT, the petitioner must prove that it is more likely than not he or she will be subject to torture upon removal. Torture is defined as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or her or third person information or a confession, punishing him or her for an act he or she has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or her or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind…”

Trust Asylum Claims to Immigrants First

Credibility of the petitioner and thorough preparation of the application is paramount in asylum and CAT petitions. Immigrants First has extensive experience in successfully handling complex and cutting-edge refugee, asylum, and Convention Against Torture claims. We thoroughly document a client’s past history in their country and project what they will face upon their return. We research country conditions and gather evidence supporting their claims. VF&N’s team of Virginia Asylum and Convention Against Torture and other Humanitarian Relief lawyers carefully analyze the arguments, undertake careful legal research, and write winning briefs.

In addition to meeting our client’s legal needs, our firm’s holistic approach to working with traumatized clients enables them to regain a sense of empowerment. Sensitivity to our clients’ spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs allow them to build trust in themselves and in their relationship with us, resulting in dramatically better case preparation. Our team of Virginia Asylum and Convention Against Torture and other Humanitarian Relief lawyers encourage potential clients to contact us for a consultation.


My experience was wonderful, in many ways. She was there for me when I needed her guidance on my case. It impacted my life because I got to stay here in safety and was able to go to work and provide for me and my family.

Winning Asylum Client

My experience with Lisa was amazing, she did a great job with my case. She was very helpful and different from other attorneys I have been with. She was super dedicated and she guided me through this process. It's not about the case, it’s about building a bond with her clients. I recommended friends and family as well and they were also satisfied with her work.

Winning Asylum Client

My experience with the attorney Lisa was definitely amazing. I owe her more than I can give her, I am super grateful and thankful to have her. She kept all her promises when we needed an appointment. She always communicated with me and updated me about my case. She is an excellent attorney. It impacted my life because my kids were involved too. Lisa is very dedicated to her work. For me it has been very good because she helped me change my life. I would definitely recommend this firm and her services.

Winning Asylum Client

Attorney Lisa did a good job on my case. If I am able to recommend her, I will.

Winning Asylum Client

I am happy with the work the attorneys did on my case. I believe it is an excellent job. I am grateful to them. If I know anyone in need of advice from an attorney, I will definitely recommend them at Immigrants First, PLLC.

Winning Asylum Client