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So. The situation here is a little complicated but I would really appreciate it if someone gave me some advice on what to do. I know a lot of people read the words 'Pakistani citizen seeking asylum' and probably groan because they assume it's somebody trying to get a free pass into a nicer country, but that's really not the situation here.

To sum it up, I'm a 19 year old female going through a really difficult time at home. My parents are - to put it lightly - uber religious Muslims whose views and beliefs differ radically from mine. I've been pretty much forced to adhere to that lifestyle and haven't been given a lot of my rights. Unfortunately, there's absolutely no margin for me to disagree with them and ask that they let me live my life as I wish. If I do that, I will definitely get beaten up and maybe even killed. I know that this kind of situation is somewhat of a valid ground for requesting asylum in another country, but I obviously need to reach that country first before I can ask for help.

I guess I was wondering where my best chances are, geographically. I can apply for a visa but I'm not sure what to say when I get asked for the purpose of my trip. I'm assuming that saying that I plan on seeking asylum is probably not the smartest thing. What would be the best course of action for me regarding the whole process?

I'd really appreciate it if somebody with experience could give me some advice, or insight. I'm really at a loss regarding what to do. The situation is getting worse and starting to take a toll on my mental health. I'm sure you're all aware that 19 is a pivotal age in anybody's life, and it really sucks watching time fly by and take all my opportunities with it. Thanks!

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    Leaving aside the question of what you would say about the purpose of your trip, if you were to apply for any visa you’d need to demonstrate that you are eligible eg in the case of a visitor visa, typically that you can support yourself during the trip and that you have ties to Pakistan that would compel you to return home. – Traveller Jun 22 at 22:10
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Different countries have different rules.

You will need to get there

I suggest getting help in advance from one of the numerous associations in big Western cities that deal with asylum seekers on a daily basis. Most of them are sensitive to women's issues in part because they are a major (and horrible) problem in human trafficking networks.

If you get to your destination by other means, the most simple from the point of view of the destination is a tourist or student visa. The student visa is a topic in itself. The tourist or visitor visa is the simplest way (but still expensive), but to be eligible you have to be credible. No one is going to give you a tourist visa to the US from Pakistan if you only booked two nights at a hotel traveling alone outisde of holiday periods. You'll need proof of accomodation etc. Visiting a relative or friend for one or two months can be a good reason. Travel groups and language courses also help.

Usually the asylum request can only be filed once in the country of arrival. In Europe you will probably want to apply for subsidiary protection wether you apply for full asylum or not.

You will need proof. I remember Afghans in Germany having gotten written death threats from the Taliban, but generally this is one of the most difficult parts. Most likely you will need to show that you are in danger if you go back. Evidence of honor crimes in your country/city/family and social circles, direct or indirect evidence of sequestration or violence or threats, evidence of failure of local legislation or law enforcement to prevent those things, belonging to a mistreated social group... Pretty much anything can help. Most asylum seekers have only their declarations.

The whole process can take a long time (several months or years), during which a lot of restrictions apply depending on the country, but most notably on work and learning.

Finally, breaking ties with your family (likely completely) and integrating in a different society (even a not-so-different one) is extremely demanding and there is a danger of having mental / depression issues after a few years. Homesickness is also surprising when it hits. As with all such things, knowing about them in advance is the best way to get over them.

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  • Not sure if the question was country-specific, but I've purt on what little knowledge and experience, I have (sadly very little about the USA in this regard), excluding the illegal parts like smugglers and fake marriages. For anyone : feel free to edit and transform as much as you like. – Yves Jun 24 at 3:20
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    Your first paragraph ("I'd say the most reliable way...") is not correct. No non-Pakistani embassy or consulate will involve themselves in advising or assisting Pakistani citizens who want to leave Pakistan in order to seek asylum elsewhere. In addition, such an attempt may well be observed by Pakistaini security, which would put the would-be aslylee at significant risk. This paragraph should be deleted. The rest of your answer is up-vote worthy. – DavidSupportsMonica Jun 24 at 14:28
  • I've seen this with migrants of a few countries, though never in the "knock knock, where do I get a visa" way (except for very obvious cases like an Afghan working for a western army). I suspect there are more cases that are hidden because it is mostly diplomatically unacceptable. I've never been in Pakistan. Feel free to chop out as you feel, or copy and correct. – Yves Jun 25 at 0:16
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    Fair enough; I've taken you at your word and deleted the paragraph...and upvoted what remains. – DavidSupportsMonica Jun 25 at 1:37

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