An immigration lawyer in the US is an attorney who specializes in immigration but works independently from the US immigration authorities. They can help to resolve issues with green cards, immigration status’s, US citizenship, visas and other factors.
There are of course issues which can be resolved without the need for an immigration lawyer, such as tourist visas. However, US immigration law is very complex, and for anything other than basic issues, immigration help from a lawyer is recommended.
When you should call an Immigration Lawyer
Knowing your immigration rights in the US isn’t always straightforward, so there are some situations when you should be calling for an immigration attorney, including:
If you want to find about your eligibility for a green card or other immigration benefit
You are having problems in obtaining citizenship, USCIS green card or other immigration benefit
You have received notification that removal or deportation proceedings have been issued against you
You have had an immigration application denied
You are planning on moving to the US for work, but this has not helped you with the immigration process
You are applying for an investment based visa
You are in need of discretionary relief such as seeking asylum – or any situation where you need to persuade the immigration authorities to make an exception for you
You need emergency help with an immigration issue
You have already been deported from the US and are hoping to return
You have committed or been convicted of a criminal offence but wish to enter the US
You are having trouble filling in the immigration forms that are required
Your First Meeting
If you decide that an immigration lawyer would be able to help you in your particular circumstances, make an appointment to see one. Some of them will charge you a one off fee, whilst others might offer you a free first consultation. This is your chance to give them all the details – so make sure that you are brutally honest to enable them to help in the most effective way.
Make sure that you check what you need to you bring with you, when you are making your appointment. It will probably include identification documentation, immigration status documentation (such as your passport), marriage certificates, criminal records and any communication that you have had with the immigration authorities. It is a good idea to make copies of all of your documents should anything happen to the originals.
The lawyer will listen and ask questions and then advise you on where to go from there. It is also recommended that you have a list of questions ready so that you take away any doubts that you might have.
The more organized and enthusiastic that you come across, the more likely the immigration lawyer is to want to help you – and of course put more effort into your case. Whilst the majority of immigration lawyers are 100% professional, it is difficult to want to help someone who doesn’t seem that bothered themselves.
Whether it is something as small as needing help filling out a form, or a bigger and more complex immigration matter, an immigration lawyer can help to ensure that everything goes to plan, and that you get the most satisfactory outcome that is possible.