ALLAN WERNICK: Asylees can usually travel to their home country without an issue

Q. Can asylees travel to their home country? I just want to travel to an airport, pick up my pets that a friend will bring there, and return to the United States.


A. You should be able to travel home and return without a problem.

Sometimes at a green card or naturalization interview, an officer questions an asylee who has traveled home about their asylum claim. For that reason, some attorneys advise asylees to not return home until they get U.S. citizenship.

My view is different. My advice depends on the basis for the asylee’s asylum claim. If you claimed that you would be arrested and imprisoned for your beliefs or actions, then traveling home undermines that claim. However, if your claim was that you faced or feared persecution for your beliefs but could move about society, then traveling home for a short visit is fine.