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Successfully steering your immigration case through the complex processes and numerous deadlines is extremely difficult if you don't have an immigration attorney. Immigration law is constantly changing, and it's very difficult for most people to understand what's required and when. An experienced immigration attorney can prepare your petitions / applications; coach you through the USCIS interview; resolve issues on visas, green cards, and naturalization; and more.
Most people hire immigration lawyers to help them quickly and accurately file their immigration paperwork. Because immigration attorneys have had years of experience filing for different immigrants, they understand the requirements and what to expect when interacting with USCIS and applying for US citizenship. An experienced immigration lawyer can help with nearly any immigration case, including:
If you have a lot of spare time and an eye for detail, you might be able to complete your paperwork without an immigration lawyer. But, if you’re not sure which visa to apply for, which forms to fill out, what to say in response to questions on the forms, what fees to pay, or where to submit your paperwork in accordance with the laws, you might need a lawyer. Making mistakes on your application can delay a decision or even cause it to be rejected due to the current federal process, so an immigration lawyer can save you time and trouble. An immigration attorney can help in any of these circumstances:
Understanding the fee structure that the attorney uses is extremely important, as not being a citizen makes it hard to bring a case against an attorney that may rip you off. Fees for an immigration lawyer can vary widely based on various factors:
Many immigration lawyers charge a flat fee for certain kinds of cases, but your contract may include provisions for extra fees or hourly billing if your case runs into serious complications. Some lawyers may offer fixed fee immigration services for tasks such as reviewing documents which may be more easy to understand than an hourly rate. Make sure you understand how the lawyer charges before signing a contract.
It’s important to research multiple attorneys in the US in order to find the one with the necessary skills and experience for your case. Immigration law is complex, and many immigration lawyers specialize in just one or a few areas of the law. For example, filing for political asylum is quite different from filing for a work visa or for a green card. Here are a few questions to ask a lawyer before hiring:
How clearly the lawyer answers your questions will give you an idea of how familiar they are with your kind of case. Make sure you feel comfortable with the lawyer and their preferred style of communication and compare a few to get an idea of what you think will work best. If you’re not fluent in English, you may also want to consider hiring a lawyer that speaks your native language. If you need help evaluating or choosing a lawyer, consider a 15 minute immigration consultation call with a lawyer.
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