Moving to a new country is a very complex process that involves a lot of paperwork. For many, not making the right choice or deciding to go through the process alone can result in wasted investment and long separation from loved ones. In this article, we will talk about some common mistakes immigrants make when hiring an immigration lawyer and shine a new light on how to choose an immigration lawyer that can help you manage the endeavor of the immigration law process.
Lack of specialization
When choosing an immigration lawyer, be sure to look for one who specializes exclusively in immigration law and has a broad immigration law experience. While most immigration lawyers specialize in immigration law, some also focus on other areas like family law, criminal defense or civil litigation. These lawyers usually don’t have the same expertise and a vast understanding of immigration law as a whole. Immigration lawyer Chicago advises you pick a specialist who focuses solely on immigration work as they are the ones who are likely to have the necessary time and expertise to successfully complete the process for you.
Picking without comparing
When hiring an immigration lawyer, or any other specialist that calls for an investment of time and resources, it is critical to choose the best one. The best way to do this is by comparing several. Narrow your list to a few choices and book a consultation with each attorney, This will allow you to ask necessary questions, and decide which one has the best skills and who will be the best fit for you and your case.
Not planning for the consultation
Many immigration attorneys offer initial consultation. This is your chance to have an insight into the attorney’s service and comprehension of immigration law. Professional asylum lawyer Chicago encourages you to take this chance and ask the right questions so you can find out more about the lawyer and their history in this domain.
Failing to take the total cost into consideration
Immigration process calls for certain financial resources, depending on the immigration benefit or application or petition type. Before deciding on an immigration lawyer, it is important to take the total cost into full consideration. There is much paperwork to process, fees for attorney guidance. It may be required for your immigration attorney to represent you before an Immigration Judge if you or your loved one is in removal proceedings, or before an Asylum Officer if you are seeking asylum in the United States, or before a USCIS adjudicating officer. Therefore, before you make your decision be sure to ask for an all-in cost. Take this figure and their experience into consideration and pick the one that best suits your needs.
Failing to follow up with an attorney
It is very important to ask for regular updates and follow up with your immigration attorney by asking questions at important junctures. As you will be submitting documents to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, seek guidance from your immigration lawyer and make sure that all communication is managed following the best practices.
How to choose an immigration lawyer?
Immigration law is a highly specialized field where reputation plays a major role. Another thing that will work strongly in your favor is picking a lawyer that is well-known and well-respected in the community. This is where doing a little research goes a long way. Check your lawyer’s credentials and track record to make sure that they have passed the bar and remain in good standing. Your local state bar website is the best place for you to see if your immigration lawyer has any complaints or violations that have been filed against them. The American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) is another good resource when figuring out how to choose an immigration lawyer. This is the official professional organization for immigration lawyers and a perfect place for you to get recommendations on immigration lawyers in your area. However, you should know that membership in AILA does not guarantee a lawyer’s experience or success record. The best way to learn about a lawyer’s reputation is to look into client reviews. We suggest Avvo, the website that features client testimonials and also highlights very important information such as bar violations as well as Google.
What to expect from your immigration attorney?
- Your immigration attorney can give you guidance on filing a VAWA self-petition which allows battered immigrants to petition for legal status in the United States without relying on abusive U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident spouses, parents, or children to sponsor their Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) applications.
- If you are a victim of a criminal activity, your immigration attorney can assist you in filing for a U Nonimmigrant Status (U visa)
- Your attorney should help you understand the nature of the benefit you are seeking since some benefits come with hidden liabilities that may even make you change your mind and look for a different option.
- They can analyze the details of your case to spot risks that you might have overlooked, like being in danger of being declared inadmissible or a public charge without even realizing it.
- If your application or immigration petition is outside normal processing times, your Immigration attorney can file a writ of mandamus on your behalf and as a last result to get final adjudication on your matter.
- A good immigration attorney excels at developing strategies to mitigate risks that you may face, such as being forced to return home while waiting for your application to be adjudicated.
- Your Immigration attorney can help you collect the appropriate documents, assemble requisite affidavits, prepare you for an interview and submit your filing in a manner that is most likely to be acceptable to the authorities