Welcome to the Asylum and Immigration Resource Pages
Tibet Justice Center's Asylum and Immigration Project manages a clearinghouse
of information and materials for Tibetans and attorneys representing Tibetans
in asylum matters. The Project maintains a list of agencies through which Tibetans
seeking asylum can obtain legal assistance and possibly secure low cost or pro
bono legal representation. The Project also provides sample asylum briefs, client
affidavits and specialized information regarding the conditions for Tibetans
in Tibet, Nepal and India to attorneys representing Tibetans.
Tibet Justice Center provides expert affidavits on country conditions
in Tibet and conditions for Tibetan refugees in India or Nepal. These
affidavits can be an important component of the asylum process. If you are interested
in finding out more about our affadavits, including what the potential costs
might be and how to request one, please click
Please be aware that the asylum process is complicated. Persons interested
in applying for asylum should attempt to obtain the assistance of an attorney
who will be able to prepare and file the application and supporting documents,
accompany the applicant to the asylum interview, and prepare and file any necessary
appeals. Although many attorneys charge a fee for these services, if an applicant
does not have any funds to pay for an attorney, it may be possible to locate
pro bono, or free, legal representation.
Information for Tibetans Seeking Asylum
Helping a Tibetan Friend or Relative Come to the United States
Resources for Asylum Attorneys
Useful Links and Documents
General Information for Tibetans Seeking Asylum
1) Applying for Asylum in the United States: Information for Newly Arrived Tibetans, PDF Version [112k]
of the United States asylum process
If you have an asylum or other immigration claim pending with INS, you can check the status of your case here.
3) If you are a Tibetan or a friend of a Tibetan who wishes to apply for political asylum in the United States, please click here to contact an organization in your area for low-cost legal representation.
Helping a Tibetan Friend or Relative
Come to the United States
1) Click here to read our FAQ on this issue.
Resources for Asylum Attorneys
Please be advised that Tibet Justice Center has not verified the information
contained in the materials listed below. Therefore, the materials should be
used solely as a guide to assist attorneys in filing asylum petitions or applications
on behalf of Tibetans. Any factual statements contained within the materials
should be independently verified before use. Moreover, because immigration and
asylum law changes rapidly and may be applied differently depending on an applicant's
particular circumstances, all of the legal representations and assertions should
be independently verified and researched before use.
The materials contained herein do not constitute legal advice. They should
not be used as a substitute for legal research or legal consultation. For specific
assistance with an individual immigration or asylum matter on behalf of a Tibetan,
please contact the Asylum and Immigration Project.
Sample Briefs and Affidavits
Below are materials to assist attorneys in preparing Tibetan asylum petitions.
Among these materials are redacted models of successful applications and memoranda
on behalf of Tibetans seeking asylum. These were provided by attorneys with
whom Tibet Justice Center has worked.
Brief #1: Concerns a woman who was born and lived most of her life
in Tibet. She passed briefly through Nepal on her journey to the United States.
MS Word version [205k] PDF
Brief #2: This is a brief for a Buddhist nun. She did not pass through
any third country. MS Word version
[133k] PDF Version
Brief #3: Concerns a Buddhist monk who was born and lived most of his
life in Tibet. He passed several months in Nepal before coming tho the United
States. MS Word Version [126k]
Brief #4: A Brief for a Buddhist monk who fled persecution in Tibet,
passed through Nepal, and lived almost five years in India before traveling
to the United States. MS Word Version
[100k] PDF Version
Evidenciary Support for Affidavits
File #1: Social and Demographic
Study of Tibetan Refugees in India
PDF Version [671k]
This study describes the social and demographic characteristics of roughly 65,000
Tibetan refugees in India from the period of 1994-1996. Overall, the socio-demographic
and health characteristics of this population show signs of transition from
those of least developed countries to those of middle income societies. However,
many in this population still lack access to adequate health resources and social
File #2: The New Tibetan Refugees
PDF Version [216k]
This report highlights circumstances under which Tibetans refugees immigrate
to India. It outlines the types of refugees that arrive in India. This document
also lists the social services refugees receive upon arrival from the Tibetan
File #3: Unclassified State Department Wires on the Legal
Status of Tibetan Refugees in India and Nepal
PDF Version [158k]
This PDF contains two different sets of communications – one between the
US Department of State and the American embassy in New Delhi, India and the
other between the US Department of State and the American embassy in Katmandu,
Nepal. Both communications concern immigration issues and the legal status of
Tibetans. Passports, citizenship, and travel visas are the main topics discussed
in these communications.
File #4: The Legal Condition of Refugees in India
PDF Version [1.67mb]
This report discusses the legal rights of refugees, including Tibetans, in India.
Legal status, citizenship, resettlement, employment, education, and other rights
are discussed in this essay. In this discussion it is established that Tibetan
are not accorded the rights and freedoms equal to those of Indian citizens.
File #5: Government’s Submission of Evidence on
Tibetan Asylum Case
PDF Version [888k]
This brief was filed by William Vela, Attorney at Law, with the San Francisco
Immigration Court to help clarify the issue of Indian citizenship for Tibetan
refugees. This brief establishes that Tibetan refugees are not accorded
the same rights and privileges as citizens of India. They are classified
by law as foreigners and thereby face substantial restrictions.
File #6: Department of Justice: Collection of evidence
files on Tibetan asylum claims
PDF Version [848k]
This document contains a memo from the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees regarding Tibetan refugees in Nepal and Tibet and additional files
supporting the claims made by the UNHCR in the memo. This memo and supporting
documents cover the issues of citizenship, civil and political rights, and the
status of refugees in these states. This memo and supporting documents also
discuss how Nepal and India are not party to the 1951 Convention relating to
the Status of Refugees and the ramifications for Tibetan refugees in these countries.
File #7: 911 Tibetan Refugees in Nepal: From Established
Settlements to Forcible Repatriation
PDF Version [279k]
This document provides summary of the conditions faced by Tibetan refugees in
Nepal. This report covers the processing of Tibetan refugees, the repatriation
and mistreatment of new refugees by Nepali border guards and police, and Nepal’s
obligation to refugees under international law. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees is mentioned briefly for its role in processing Tibetan refugees,
including its role in assisting refugees in their transit to India. This document
also discusses the relationship between the Nepali Government and the People’s
Republic of China.
File #8: Tibetan Refugees in Nepal
PDF Version [495k]
This document provides an estimate of the number of Tibetans living in Nepal
and describes the conditions faced by refugees in Nepal. This file includes
maps of Nepal and surrounding countries and regions, as well as a chart listing
the institutions Tibetan refugees were sent to after arrival (e.g. monasteries,
File #9: Mamadou Diallo v John D. Ashcroft; US Court
of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
PDF Version [604k]
This is a copy of a case submitted by Mamadou Diallo regarding the issue of
“firm resettlement” in a country which an individual does not hold
citizenship. Diallo is a Mauritanian citizen who resided in Senegal prior to
moving to the United States, where he is seeking asylum. This document establishes
guidelines for what constitutes as “firm resettlement” in a country
which an individual does not hold citizenship. It also explains what roles fear
of persecution and torture should play in granting an individual asylum into
the United States.
File #10: The Indian Citizenship Act, 1955
PDF Version [195k]
This document lists the guidelines for obtaining citizenship in India under
the Citizenship Act of 1955 (which was later amended in 1986 and 1992). To obtain
citizenship, an individual must either be born in Indian or fall under the regulations
listed for a non-citizens to obtain citizenship.
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