11 Feb 2013

Asylum seeker in American Samoa to pursue quest in US

4:16 pm on 11 February 2013

The lawyer representing Mikhail Sebastian, a stateless man stranded in American Samoa, says his case for asylum will be re-visited now that he has been given permission to return to the United States.

Mikhail Sebastian became stateless when the former Soviet Union collapsed.

He had lived in the United States since 1995, but while visiting American Samoa, he also travelled to Samoa and was prevented from returning to the US on the grounds that he had deported himself.

His lawyer, Tammy Lin, says a second application to return to the United States as a humanitarian parole has been approved.

She says this will allow him to re-open his quest for asylum which was denied a decade ago.

"Bringing forth new information about why he has no other option, he has no country of citizenship, so hopefully that can get resolved, but that's still gonna be a timely process. So we're doing it one step at a time, the first step was to get him back on US soil."

Tammy Lin says Mikhail Sebastian's return will depend on how quickly he can pick up his immigration documents from the US embassy in Samoa .