What do I need to have an immigration lawyer?
An attorney is not required to handle an immigration matter. Depending on your situation, legal representation may be beneficial. These are some things you should consider:
- How complex is your case? If you are applying to become a permanent residence through the U.S. standard, you may not need a lawyer. Citizenship and Immigration Services form (USCIS). If you find yourself in a complicated situation, such as DACA, where the immigration system is constantly changing, legal advice may be necessary.
- What’s at stake? A lawyer may be necessary if you make a mistake that could result in a change to your immigration status or deportation. If you are only losing the filing fee or have to delay your travel while you wait for an immigrant visa, legal representation may not be necessary.
- Are you able to manage your own immigration situation or process? You may be able to handle your case if you have relatives who are experienced in the process. You might also want to seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer.
Why hire an immigration attorney if I don’t need one?
Hiring an American immigration lawyer is a great idea. They might be able to assist you in the following ways:
- They will spot any potential problems or concerns that could result in USCIS denial of your application or even deportation.
- They will help you determine which benefits you are eligible for. The immigration law is complex. There may be a green card or visa that you are eligible for that you did not know about.
- They will monitor your case’s progress and can contact the appropriate office if there is a delay in processing your application.
- If you are facing removal proceedings, they can represent you at immigration interviews and before an immigration judge.
- They are capable of handling complex situations, such as deportation defenses or immigration appeals procedures.
What is the Average Cost of an Immigration Lawyer?
Many immigration law firms charge flat fees instead of hourly rates. Flat fees are a flat fee that you pay regardless of how much time your lawyer spends working on your case. The amount you pay will vary depending on your location and the complexity of your case.
If you are in Northern California, for example, the cost of hiring a lawyer to help with a fiance visa is between $750 and $2,000. A lawyer to help you obtain a green card for marriage to a U.S citizen or lawful permanent resident would run between $800 and $4,000. You will usually be responsible for filing the forms fees.
Many law firms charge an hourly rate, especially in complex cases. If you hire an attorney to represent you in a removal proceeding before the immigration court, they might charge you an hourly or for filing bills for each stage (bond hearing, negotiation, motions, etc.). Depending on the complexity of your case, this cost could be anywhere from $1,500 up to $10,000. An hourly rate of $100-$350 will be typical.
How do you find a good immigration lawyer?
To maximize your chances of success, it is important to find the right immigration lawyer for you. Scammers and unreliable immigration professionals may try to scam vulnerable people.
These are just a few of the many ways you can find a top-quality lawyer.
Ask a friend or family member for a recommendation. A friend who has a lawyer can refer you to another lawyer if they have one in a similar practice area.
Refer to a professional organization or bar association for a recommendation. These organizations may be able match you with the right attorney depending on your case. The American Bar Association is the largest international association of lawyers. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the most well-known association for immigration. You can find a lawyer based on the subcategory you are looking for, such as employment sponsorship to obtain a work visa, or changing your status from nonimmigrant into immigrant.
- Check lawyer directories. The American Bar Association maintains a reliable lawyer directory with entries for every state.
- Check the websites of trusted legal aid and community organizations. If you have financial needs, some of these organizations might even offer pro bono assistance or free help.
- Check with your state bar association to ensure that the attorney you select is licensed in your state.
- Online reviews of your attorney are available.
How do I know if an immigration attorney is right for me?
Once you have compiled a list, you can choose the one that is best for you.
Many people consider the cost of legal services to be a crucial factor. Remember that choosing a lawyer can be a subjective decision, just like hiring a job candidate. Your lawyer should meet the minimum requirements such as certifications and years of relevant experience. You also want to choose someone you enjoy and can have a good relationship with.
Find out more about a potential immigration attorney
Before you hire an attorney, it is important to get to know them. You can usually find out more by speaking with lawyers and scheduling a consultation. You can also search for a lawyer online.
First, contact a lawyer. You can usually reach out to a lawyer by either calling, emailing or filling out the form on their website. Let the lawyer know what services you require and they will be able to help you.
You might explain, for example, that you require assistance with a specific case such as an application for asylum. Ask the lawyer whether they are currently accepting new clients or if they have experience with asylum cases.
You will most likely get a response from the lawyer after you have reached out to them. They will then set up a meeting. The meeting can be held in person or by phone. Many lawyers offer initial consultations for free, lasting about 20 minutes.
During the meeting, you may ask more specific questions to the lawyer, such as:
- What are your charges and how do they reflect on your services?
- What types of cases do your lawyers typically handle? If you’re applying for a U.S. Visa as a foreign citizen, you wouldn’t want a lawyer who focuses only on removal proceedings.
- What next steps could I take to resolve my particular case?
- How long have your been practicing immigration law? The longer you have been practicing immigration law, the better.
- What is your expectation for my case? It is important that the lawyer knows about any backlogs at immigration offices relevant to your case.
- What frequency will you update me on my case? How can I reach you with any questions? If you’re waiting for government action, the lawyer should give you updates immediately and then additional updates every few months.
- What will I be charged if there are complications? You should understand the potential changes to your flat fee if there are complications, especially if it is a complex case.
Research Your Lawyer
Google and other online search engines can be used to find the lawyer you are interested in hiring. Online reviews can help you assess the credibility of your lawyer. Online reviews should not be trusted.