You will need a lawyer for the waiver.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
You will definitely need a lawyer for your waiver.
Alexus P. Sham email@example.com (917) 498-9009. The above information is only general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. It does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The I-601A process can be complicated. You should consult with an immigration attorney to discuss this matter further, as well as applying for DACA benefits for your wife, if applicable.
Yes, you need to file the I-130, get it approved and notify NVC that you will be filing an I-601A Provisional Waiver and NOT the I-601. This is required because she entered illegally. I strongly suggest that you hire an experienced Immigration Attorney to help you with your Waiver. Waivers are complicated as they require preparing a brief with supporting documentation to show that you would suffer Extreme Hardship (Financially and Emotionally) if your wife has to wait 10 years.
The fees that the lawyer is charging are very reasonable, especially for a Waiver.
However, I strongly suggest you consult with an Immigration Attorney as there may be a way to avoid having to proceed with the Waiver route, since she entered when she was 11.
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I -601A is akin to a very delicate surgical procedure, one wrong move and the whole operation is at peril. It requires a competent experienced counsel.
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The prices you mentioned are not unreasonable. The I-130 visa petition you might be able to file by yourself if you cannot afford the attorney fees. The I-601A is something you definitely need an attorney's help with. I have clients come to me often that have filed I-601s by themselves or using an unlicensed immigration consultant because it was cheaper than an attorney. Their I-601s were denied, and now they want to appeal the denial. Remember that you only get one chance to file an I-601A. If it is denied, you cannot file another I-601A. You better do it right the first time and use an immigration attorney that has a proved track record of success with extreme hardship waivers. It sounds like you have a good case, but only the right attorney can present the case in a way that the USCIS officer will understand the strain your young family is under and feel sympathy for you.