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March 28, 2023

What is Convention Against Torture (CAT)?

Convention Against Torture (CAT) is a relief option for individuals who are unable to qualify for asylum or withholding of removal (I-589). The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CAT” or “the Convention”), requires countries who have signed the treaty to prohibit and prevent torture in all circumstances.

What is torture?

Torture is defined as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person by or at the request of or with the acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.


This is available to any non-citizens who can prove that they may be tortured if removed to their country regardless of the reason. CAT may be the only option for those with criminal convictions, even severe convictions may not bar the grant of CAT.

CAT Approval

When an individual is granted CAT, it will only prevent deportation of the applicant to the specific country or countries to which removal has been withheld or deferred. Relief does not provide a permanent residency or a pathway to a green card but allows work authorization and authorized stay in the United States.

Our Experience

We have over 30 years’ experience in handling successful asylum/withholding/CAT applications. Our office represented individuals and received a favorable published decision on this issue from the 9th Circuit, en banc panel, in the case of Maldonado vs. Lynch, 786 F3d 1155 (9th Circuit 2015) (en banc). This published decision dealt with the burden of proof of internal relocation. This case modified and overruled prior 9th Circuit cases dealing with CAT claims.

Case Link:

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