The elements for an asylum claim based on LGBT/H are a well-founded fear of persecution based on past persecution or risk of persecution in the future if returned to the country of origin because of his membership in a particular social group. The persecutor must be the government or a group or individual(s) that the government is unwilling or unable to control.
The applicant bears the burden of proof of establishing that she falls under this definition of refugee. The applicant is required to testify under oath regarding the truth of her application in order to meet this burden of proof. The Board of Immigration Appeals “not only encourage[s], but require[s] the introduction of corroborative testimonial and documentary evidence, where available.”
Testimony, however, can be sufficient to sustain the applicant’s burden of proof if the testimony is credible.
The fact that there has been a development in tightening of boarders for the LGBTIQ refugees and asylum seekers in the safe havens, this has been partly because of the reason of the influx of many asylum claims on grounds of harassment based on gender, and sexual preferences.
“In Iran I had to hide my real self and in the UK, I have to prove to the others that I’m lesbian but how can I prove it?”
Says Kiana Firouz, an Iranian LGBT asylum seeker in the UK
Of course, it’s hard for officials to verify someone’s homosexuality, and some have expressed concern that fake claims are likely to be made. But in my opinion the risks to genuine asylum seekers outweighs the potential for abuse.
Your asylum application will be decided based on your unique facts, evidence, and witness statements. Moreover, asylum officers and Immigration Judges have a certain amount of discretion, and your chances might vary depending on who gets assigned to your case.
However, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood that you will obtain asylum. In addition to providing detailed and truthful information about why you are entitled to asylum, you must show that no “bars” (factors preventing your eligibility for asylum) apply to you. You should focus on preparing your application as best as you can to maximize your chances of obtaining asylum.
Also realize that your credibility is critical to obtaining asylum. You must be consistent throughout your application, and during your asylum interview and any Immigration Court hearings, even regarding details that are not directly related to your asylum claim. To increase the chances that you will be found credible, make sure that all of your statements are: true, detailed, complete (to the best of your memory), and consistent (with your other statements, with any other evidence you submitted, and with reports about your country).
Taking an example from Mr. Zand refering to LGBTIQ asylum cases as “The Golden Case” thus:
The number of [asylum request] cases [involving fake claims of] homosexuality [is so much that makes] it the 2nd most popular form of fake asylum cases after the cases of [fraudulent] apostasy [claims]…
[Translators’s note: Both apostasy and homosexuality in Iran have a documented history of death punishments.]
The only reason fake homosexual [asylum] cases are not ranked number one yet is because homosexuality is not acceptable in the [Iranian] society and, in particular, in male groups — a surely undeserving status, but due to reasons, which are not fully clear to the author, this type of fake cases is becoming more and more popular among the ladies, and it can be predicted [with a fair amount of certainty] that in the near future a new wave of lesbian refugees will head to the UN offices, and, consequently, elevate this [type of fraudulent] case to its deserved standing [of number one] among the various fake cases [and asylum claims].
Concluding with the words of Judge Dana Marks.
“The mistake of granting a fraudulent asylum case is far less disastrous than denying a genuine one”