Many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom and the United States, have become signatories to what are called safe third country agreements. These agreements essentially restrict asylum seekers in terms of when and where they may apply, which can sometimes have little effect on individual cases. However, they can sometimes cause significant problems, especially if an entire family wants to immigrate or pass through. In the current climate, knowing your options is imperative if you intend to apply for asylum in the United States.
Differences in Ports of Entry
The United States has a safe third country agreement with Canada, classified as a treaty and implemented in 2004. Under this agreement, refugees or anyone intending to make an asylum claim in one of the two countries must do so in the country they enter first. The crux of the matter, however, is that the agreement only applies to those who choose to make their claim when entering via a land border, and even then, there are exceptions to the rule. If someone drives or walks across the international border, and wishes to make a refugee claim, he or she will be barred from doing so unless the individual meets one of the four categories of exception.