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Seeking Asylum?

Freedom House Detroit has never charged a client for services. Our clients receive comprehensive legal services including representation and assistance with affirmative asylum applications, assistance with work permit applications, family reunification petitions and adjustment of status petitions. It is through the generosity of our donors and grantors and the hard work of our attorneys that we are one of the few non-profits able to continue offering completely free legal services.


You may be eligible for asylum in the United States if you fear you will be harmed or if you have been harmed in your home country. The harm must be on account of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or your political opinion. Members of a particular social group can include, among others, victims of domestic violence, those targeted because of their family, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered individuals. Freedom House Detroit seeks to serve asylum seekers who have been in the United States less than one year, need housing, and have no other ability to hire legal counsel to assist them with their claims. If you believe you qualify for asylum and would like help, please contact the Freedom House legal department by phone at 313-964-4320.


Under the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States, those individuals arriving in the U.S. are expected to make an asylum claim in the U.S. and will not be allowed to enter Canada from the U.S. unless they meet one of the following exceptions to the Agreement:

  • Family member exception

  • Unaccompanied minors exception

  • Document holder exceptions (which may relate to one's country of nationality's relationship with Canada)

  • Public interest exceptions

Freedom House Detroit assists individuals who meet the family member exception only. Although, the Safe Third Country Agreement defines a family member more broadly, Freedom House Detroit provides assistance to individuals who have the following qualifying family member in Canada:

  • spouse

  • child

  • father or mother

  • sister or brother

  • grandfather or grandmother

  • grandchild

  • uncle or aunt (brother or sister of your mother or father)

  • nephew or niece (child of your sister or brother)

Freedom House Detroit does not provide legal representation for Canada applicants.  We provide an administrative service only, to assist Canada claimants with setting up an appointment at the Detroit-Windsor Ambassador Bridge. Freedom House Detroit seeks to assist those qualifying for the family member exception. This requires that a refugee claimant have a family member who meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • is a Canadian citizen

  • is a permanent resident of Canada

  • is a protected person under Canadian immigration legislation

  • has made a claim for refugee status in Canada that has been accepted by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)

  • has had his or her removal order stayed on humanitarian and compassionate grounds

  • holds a valid Canadian work permit

  • holds a valid Canadian study permit, or

  • is over 18 years old and has a claim for refugee protection that has been referred to the IRB for determination. (This claim must not have been withdrawn by the family member, declared abandoned or rejected by the IRB or found ineligible for referral to the IRB.)

If you do not have a family member with qualifying immigration status as listed above who is living in Canada, Freedom House Detroit cannot assist you with your application to go to Canada.  For more information, please visit the Canadian Immigration site.

If you believe you qualify under the family member exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement, please complete our online form.

If you do not qualify for Freedom House Detroit services or are seeking other immigration legal services, please click here to view legal resources in Michigan.

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