A good immigration attorney can make all the difference to your chances for success. Many are hard working, honest professionals who genuinely want to help. They could, after all, potentially be making a lot more money in some other area of law. They’re also dealing with a difficult, delay-prone bureaucracy.
However, a bad immigration lawyer can overcharge you, fail to provide the promised services, and/or damage your case in a way you might never recover from. Whether you are seeking to file a petition for a visa or green card, trying to avoid deportation, or applying for some other immigration benefit, make sure you get the right sort of lawyer on your side. Here are some tips to avoid the shadier types of practitioners.
Who is exactly an immigration lawyer?
The field of immigration includes many imposters — “consultants,” “notarios” and others who offer legal advice and fill out forms for people without fully understanding the legal complexities involved in answering even a single innocent-sounding question. What you need is a licensed lawyer who has passed the bar exam and has been admitted to the bar association of at least one US jurisdiction.
Since federal law governs immigration, it doesn’t matter which jurisdiction your immigration lawyer is licensed to practice in, as long as it is US state or possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia.
Role of an immigration lawyer:
- He can help you understand the nature of the benefit you are seeking
- He can analyze the details of your case to spot risks and issues that you might have missed
- He can help you to make crucial decisions by providing relevant legal advice
- Collect the appropriate documents and prepare them in a manner that is likely to be acceptable to the authorities
- Help you prepare for your visa interview.
- Help you respond appropriately to Requests for Evidence, which are requests for additional documentation and information that you may receive after you file your application.
When do you need immigration lawyer?
you are uncertain about your basic eligibility for a green card or other immigration benefit. If any odds of obtaining the immigration benefit you seek. Immigration law is deceptively complex, and critical issues often surface in places that someone untrained in the field (even an attorney trained in another area of law) would never suspect.
When you don’t need an immigration attorney?
There are few factors which, when taken together, might lead you to conclude that you either don’t need an attorney at all or require something less than full representation. Some of these factors are listed below:
- You speak and read English fluently;
- The legal research you need to perform is not overwhelming (in other words, you won’t have to become an expert to maximize your chances of qualifying for the immigration benefit you are seeking);
- You appear to be eligible for the benefit you are seeking;
- You have no criminal record and no record of problems with US immigration authorities (visa overstays, removal proceedings, etc.); and
the stakes are low (you are seeking employment authorization for your spouse to make a little extra money, for example)
Points to be considered a pick a right immigration lawyer:
1. Talk To Friends And Family
If you hope to hire an immigration attorney, your friends and family are a priceless resource. You should start your search by discussing your needs with those who know you best. If they’ve also had immigration issues or needed guidance with an application, they’ll likely be able to help you.
2. Use The Internet
When searching for an experienced immigration attorney, the internet is an irreplaceable tool. Start by utilizing a major search engine like Google or Yahoo and try to find some potential immigration attorneys in your area. Write down every lawyer that might be a good fit – you can always narrow the list later with further research.
- Check Immigration Lawyer Reviews
You check reviews when you purchase a product so there’s no reason not to check reviews of a company you will hire. You can check reviews from an immigration law firm on Google and Facebook. There will always be a few disgruntled clients but if the majority of reviews are 5-star, it is a good sign that this law firm does a good job.
- Avoid Lawyers Who Approach You at USCIS or Other Immigration Offices
A few “high-volume, low value” immigration attorneys prowl the hallways of immigration offices attempting to solicit business. This is not considered ethical behavior by the legal bar. Besides, any good immigration attorney is probably going to be too busy practicing immigration law and working for their clients to spend their time rounding up new clients this way.
- Make Sure You’re Dealing With a Real Lawyer, Not a “Visa Consultant,” “Notario,” or “Petition Preparer”
Unfortunately, many non-lawyers; even some well-meaning ones, who don’t recognize how complex this area of law really is; claim to be capable of assisting foreigners who need help with the immigration process. In many cases, they offer little value other than a typing service. In the worst cases, they might literally take your money and run, or fill out your forms in wrong and dangerous ways without telling you the meaning of what they’re doing.
- Check Lawyer’s Experience, credentials and Reputation
You can probably find out a lot about your lawyer online: whether he or she is listed as a member of a state bar association (a requirement) and of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association or AILA (a professional organization that most of the best attorneys join); whether he or she gets good reviews on websites like Martindale; whether the lawyer has written professional articles for publication; and so on.
Requirements of a immigration lawyer:
- Certification by the State Bar Association
- Specializes in immigration law
- Has been recognized by statewide law organizations
- Never accept any Unethical Advice or Illegal Offers
Be careful of any immigration attorney who suggests that you do something fishy: perhaps lie on an application or to a USCIS officer, give the attorney extra money with which to bribe an immigration authority, or buy a fake green card from him or her.
8. Compare Advice by Talking to More Than One Attorney
While most good immigration attorneys will likely be pretty busy, you should be able to talk to them and their office staff to get a sense of their commitment to clients as well as their overall demeanor and impression of honesty.
Novaturient is a Licensed Immigration consultant that offer Visa services in acquiring Permanent Resident Visa, Student Visa and Visit Visa for countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Schengen Countries and the UK.
Call us: 9731473738