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What advantages should I expect from seeking legal counsel on my Green Card application over submitting the application myself?

Las Vegas, NV |

I am an Australian national, recently married to a United States citizen and currently residing in Las Vegas, NV with my wife as a tourist. I have no criminal history and am trying to have this application submitted to the USCIS by February 25th as this is the end of my stay in the US. Primarily, we are wondering if we should expect a clear advantage of hiring professional legal representation over my submitting the paperwork and application ourselves. Could I expect a faster approval perhaps? Should I expect my attorney to offer insights and advice I would not otherwise be able to find on the USCIS website, or other supporting online material? - My query here is of course not meant in any disapproving discourse of hiring a lawyer, simply to have the advantages of doing so clear to us.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    It's certainly possible to do it yourself. However, in addition to the substantive requirements, it's also important to satisfy the procedural requirements. Unfortunately, the USCIS also makes mistakes which lead to delays and possible Requests for Evidence. Also, your plans may change mid-course and an attorney can help you analyze how changes could affect your application. Lastly, an attorney can prep and be present for your interview which is reassuring. Having an attorney help you navigate these obstacles is a stress-reliever. Best wishes.

    (626) 771-1078 Los Angeles Attorney Theodore Huang, Esq. This is not legal advice. No attorney/client relationship is established. Attorney Huang is licensed in MD; practice limited to federal law.


  2. You can file alone. Filing with an attorney will provide you the comfort and peace of mind that you will almost assuredly avoid RFEs, will be given insight into what to expect during the interview process (over and above what you may find on the USCIS website.

    Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 s.ouya@mainalaw.com Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


  3. Whether nor not there is an advantage to hiring a lawyer depends entirely on the client, the client's issues, and the experience of the attorney hired (if any). Good luck.

    The answer provided here is general in nature and does not take into account other factors that may need to be reviewed for a more precise answer. You should consult with an immigration attorney before taking any action. The answer here is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.


  4. My colleagues provide excellent advice as to the pros and cons of going it pro se (alone). Another middle option, is to draft all of the forms and consult with an experienced immigration attorney before filing. The attorney can review your package and provide you with a legal opinion as to what issues, if any, arise from the overall application. Good luck.

    Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.


  5. A good lawyer is your insurance policy to ensure that you make zero mistakes and to properly prepare you to be successful at the interview. If you have the money, hire a good lawyer. If the money is not there, prepare to put lots of time in to assure that you have a decent understanding of the rules and requirements.

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