An immigration lawyer assisting in filing your employment-based application is in a dual-representation agreement. This usually means that there are many questions you cannot ask the attorney, such as "what happens if I switch jobs?" The answers to these questions might have a very real impact on the future of your immigration process. You should not skimp on hiring an immigration attorney of your own to advice you on CRITICAL issues.
Lack of Direct Attorney Access
Often when your company is sponsoring your application, you lack direct access to the attorney preparing your application. You may have to go through your company's HR. When you do have direct access, your access might be limited. For example, you may not get quick responses from the attorney about your queries, or you may only be permitted to contact the paralegal in the case. In this scenario, often grave misunderstandings are created. The person(s) most impacted by this are you and your family.
It is unwise to rely on that limited access to answer burning and important questions about your immigration question. As a last resort, you may decide to go on an internet hunt to get answers. The problem with this is that the answers may be incomplete, or outdated, or frequently both. Immigration law changes, and immigration procedure changes even more frequently. You should definitely consult with an attorney whose primary concern is YOU and YOUR questions.
No Continuous Attorney-Client Relationship
As an employee, you may change jobs. Usually, that means changing an attorney too. This means that you have no long-term relationship with any immigration attorney. This is an important handicap because now no one knows your entire immigration history. No one is aware of your preferences. And you may have to explain the whole story over and over. That is, if you can get access.
Remember, attorneys are like any other person or business. We value relationships. We value loyalty. If you have one attorney on your side throughout the immigration process, you will most likely get great treatment, quick answers, and build a trusting and lasting relationship with your attorney. Also, you will be more certain that your attorney is a good attorney.
Think of it like having a family doctor. Someone who knows your family's medical history and style, who is much better ally than a random doctor that you only hire for crisis management.
Often, when it comes to your immigration attorney through your employer. You miss out on controlling your own immigration process. For example, you may have options that are left unexplored, including family-based applications that might lead to a faster path to a green card. You should definitely have an attorney whose primary goal and focus is YOU and your immigration process.
What is the cost of getting your own attorney?
Often times, it is far cheaper to get advice from a private attorney than your employer is paying for your application. It might save you years worth of hassles, protect you from missing out on future job opportunities, protect your family's immigration status, and much much more. Often times, the savings greatly outweigh the costs of getting quality advice from an attorney.
Additional resources provided by the author
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