Determined & Skilled Immigration Defense

Asylum and Refugee Status

San Francisco and San Jose Immigration Defense Lawyer

For years, Daniel Shanfield has been helping individuals and families from around the world obtain asylum in the United States.

What is Political Asylum?

Refuge is defined as "shelter or protection from danger". Asylum is refuge given by the United States to a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. Citizens of other countries who believe they will be persecuted in their homeland may petition for asylum in the U.S. USCIS and the Immigration Courts has become more and more restrictive in approving these asylum applications over the last decade.

Contact us online to get started on your refugee and political asylum case.

Why Hire Daniel as Your Asylum Lawyer?

Daniel Shanfield has extensive background in political asylum cases, and has testified before Congress on the rights of asylum seekers. Prior to founding his own law practice, Daniel oversaw the asylum representation program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights in New York (now Human Rights First), and served as a Migration Expert with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Central Asia. Daniel was also Legal Services Manager with the U.S. Refugee Program OPE in Europe, resettling vulnerable religious minorities from the Middle East to safety in the United States.

He has been recognized as a Northern California Immigration "Super Lawyer" by San Francisco Magazine, and holds a 10/10 AVVO rating, ranking him as "Superb" in experience, industry recognition, professional conduct. He has lectured on asylum and refugee protection at universities and law schools around the world including UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and New York University.

As a former INS prosecutor (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service), Daniel possesses unique insights he uses everyday to help clients like you. Anyone seeking asylum or refugee status is urged to contact a San Francisco and San Jose immigration defense attorney for help.

Applications for asylum and Refugee status

You must be in the United States to file this petition and you must apply within one year of your arrival in the U.S. You may apply for an exception to the 1 year restriction based on a change of circumstances in your home country or in your own life. You may also plead the existence of extraordinary circumstances which prevented you from applying. Even those under a notice to appear for deportation in immigration court may petition for asylum.

There are a number of grounds on which asylum may be granted for fear of persecution based upon:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Political opinion
  • Membership in a social group
  • Domestic violence
  • Homosexuality
  • Gang or criminal violence with a political or social group component

One year after you have received asylum your lawyer can help you apply for permanent residency in the U.S.

If you have additional questions, please visit our FAQ to see if your question has been answered there.

Immigration Defense Attorney in San Jose and San Francisco

An application for asylum must be accompanied by solid documentation of the persecution which you would suffer in your home country. We will help to obtain such documentation and skillfully present your case to obtain a successful result.

Contact a San Francisco and San Jose immigration defense lawyer at the firm for a consultation about your asylum and refugee case.

Clients Tell Their Stories

  • “The outcome of their professionalism and expertise resulted in my deportation case being dismissed.”


  • “Efficient and knowledgeable...especially for complicated and non-standard immigration cases.”


  • “this office should always be your first choice.”


  • “ case was a kind of difficult one, but Daniel made it done.”


  • “...their professional approach to all my concerns gave me the confidence I needed to relax”


  • “ was their expertise, diligence, and hard work that produced a successful outcome for me.”

    Former Client

  • “Thank you to Law Offices of Daniel Shanfield for all your hard work.”


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