Home > Blog > “I waited nearly 8 years for asylum”

Oleg became a client of Immigration Equality in 2009, asking for asylum nearly a year after fleeing Russia, just two weeks before his filing deadline. Oleg is bisexual, and “in Russia, once you’re with a man, you’re no one.”

When he was younger, Oleg’s community perceived him as gay. His neighbors threw stones at him and a woman told him that her boyfriend was going to kill him. When he was 22, two men attacked Oleg, punched him in the face, and broke his nose. He asked the police for protection, but they turned him away.

Oleg came to the U.S. as a student because he feared for his life in Russia; then he heard about Immigration Equality. “If no one had told me about this place, I probably wouldn’t have gotten asylum.”

While he waited years to have his day in court — his hearing was rescheduled three separate times — Oleg lived in constant fear of being sent back to Russia. “I watched others around me being granted asylum and start building their lives, but I couldn’t do anything but wait.”

Last month, Oleg was granted asylum! Now, he too can build his life openly and safely. Oleg has a job he loves, a caring partner, and the ambition to become a scientist for a research company.

Help support our work serving LGBTQ immigrants like Oleg with a small monthly gift.

Thank you for all you do for our community,

Aaron C. Morris
Executive Director, Immigration Equality