Immigration 101: Protection Under the Convention Against Torture

If you are not eligible for asylum or withholding of removal, and you fear being harmed in your home country, you may be eligible for relief from removal under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). By law, the US government cannot remove you to a country if you can show that it is more likely than not that you would be subjected to torture there. If you can prove this, the government can’t remove you even if you have committed a very serious crime that would bar you from receiving asylum or withholding of removal.

To receive protection under the CAT, you must show that the harm you would face would be severe enough to qualify as torture. You must also show that the torture would be inflicted by government officials, or that the government would consent or turn a blind eye to acts of torture committed by private individuals or groups. Unlike with asylum and withholding of removal, there is no need to demonstrate that there is a causal nexus (a direct relationship connecting two or more things) between the threat of torture and your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

This article is part of our ongoing “Immigration 101” series, in which we break down topics in US immigration law. For more articles in this series, click here.

The content in this post was originally written by Stuart Nickum and adapted by Lena Barouh.


Recent Posts