Why Should You Be Represented?
Immigration applications with the government are legal documents, similar to filing court documents for a lawsuit. Don’t be deceived that these applications are “simple” and “just paperwork.” Behind the forms are thousands of pages of law that affect your rights and ability to live and work in the U.S. There is no one-size-fits-all with immigration cases. This area of law is constantly changing. Because immigration law is constantly changing, you should consult a lawyer that focuses on immigration law, not family, friends over even an attorney that has not been practicing immigration very long.. After all, isn’t your immigration a life-changing matter that deserves the best assistance possible?
How Do You Find A Good Immigration Attorney?
This is where you ask family and friends, if they were happy with their immigration attorney and why. You can also search on the internet for some ideas. Once you have the name of one or more attorneys, It is time to schedule a meeting with the attorney.
How To Have A Good First Meeting
1. Schedule an Appointment
Although some attorneys may allow walk-in appointments, most attorneys will be too busy to work you into their schedule. Even if an attorney can see you immediately, neither you nor the attorney will be prepared for the meeting. Schedule your appointment in advance.
2. Prepare a List of Questions
Before your appointment, write down a list of questions you have regarding your immigration situation. Take your list to the meeting with your attorney – or even better, email it to your attorney in advance of the meeting. Before your appointment, write down a list of questions you have regarding your immigration situation.
3. Gather Your Case Documents and Bring Them to the Meeting
If this is your first immigration case, you may not have many documents to gather. However, if you are asking your attorney to review a case that has already been filed, you should copy all of your case documents and bring them to your meeting. Other documents that your immigration attorney will want to review include: marriage certificates if your case is based on marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, any criminal records for you or the person you are sponsoring, and your Notice to Appear if you have been placed in removal proceedings.
4. Arrive on Time
This one is very important for you. My office does not keep people waiting for their appointment. If you are twenty minuets late for a thirty minuet appointment, we will not have much time to go over your case. Confirm your attorney’s address and driving directions before the day of your appointment. Leave early. If you are late, your appointment may be rushed, and you may not have enough time to discuss all of your questions with your attorney. We provide an email confirmation for every appointment along with detailed driving directions.
5. Tell The Truth
Your meeting is protected by attorney client privilege, even if you do not hire the attorney. To be able to give good advice the attorney needs the truth.
What Questions Should You Ask?
Here is a list of questions both about the attorney and your case in particular
- How long have you been practicing in the specific field of immigration law?
- What percentage of your practice is devoted to immigration law?
- Have you previously represented people with cases similar to mine?
- Do you have a secure case status website so I can access my case information 24 hours a day?
- What percentage of your clients is satisfied with your services?
- How do you know?
- How many continuing education courses in immigration do you attend a year?
- Do you conduct free educational seminars so I can learn more about immigration cases?
- Will you discuss my case with me over the telephone without an additional charge?
- Are you a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association?
- Please describe the case management system you use to prepare my case, keep up with my case deadlines, and track the status of my case?
- Do you use the latest technology for easy access to my case information?
- Will you send me free educational materials about immigration cases?
What is your communication policy?
- How well-trained are your paralegals and support staff?
- What actions will you take immediately and what will follow?
- What are my chances of a positive outcome?
- What can I do or what can I give you to improve my chances for success?
- Can you give me an estimate of how long it will take to resolve my case?
- Who will be working on my case besides you?
- What is your rate and what is your best estimate of the total cost?
After 20 years of practicing immigration law, I have “fixed” too many cases were good people got bad advice. This advise usually came from family and friends, each trying to be helpful. Save yourself the time, money and aggravation. For an immigration case, get the help of an immigration attorney.
For your free guide on how to pick an immigration attorney, just click the link below.