Convention Against Torture (CAT)Convention Against Torture

What is the Convention Against Torture (CAT)?

The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment is a treaty which currently has over 160 countries as signatories. It came into force in 1987. Its purpose is to prevent torture in any country which is a signatory and to prevent the transportation of individuals to any country where there is a good reason to believe that they will be tortured there.

How Does a Person Apply for Convention Against Torture Protection?

A person may apply for Convention Against Torture protection by using USCIS Form I-589, Application for Asylum and indicating the appropriate selection on the form. It is important to note that there is no deadline to applying for CAT protection, as it is also used as a common defense against deportation or removal.

How Does Someone Qualify for Convention Against Torture Protection?

In order to qualify for the protections of CAT, an individual must meet the burden of proving that they are more likely than not to be tortured in the country of removal from which they are requesting protection. The harm which an individual fears must meet the definition of torture, as found in § 208.18.

What Does a Grant of Convention Against Torture Protection Provide?

Having protection under CAT does not provide an individual with the benefits of a green card or U.S. citizenship and it does not provide an individual with a means of permanently residing in the United States. Individuals with CAT protection may not petition for family members.

If it can be established than an individual would not most likely experience torture in their country of removal, their protection under CAT may be terminated. Recipients of CAT may also be removed to another country altogether if they have a legal right to be there and if there is no risk of torture present.

So Why is Convention Against Torture Protection Important?

The largest benefit of have CAT protection is not being forced to go back to a country where an individual faces a strong fear of torture. Additionally, an individual who is provided protection under CAT may be authorized to work in the United States under certain circumstances.

Please note that this varies from asylum. To read about asylum in the immigration context.

It may be wise to consult an experienced immigration attorney to determine if you might qualify for protection under Convention Against Torture. The attorneys at Gilles Law, PLLC are here to assist with your inquiries.

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