Given that the immigration law in the United States is highly complex, you might think that hiring an immigration lawyer is vital for your case to be successful. But is it true? It depends on your case.
If you have never had any issues with immigration authorities in the US, it may be unreasonable to pay additional money (apart from the filing fees) to get any legal help. However, if you don’t want to spend time filling out forms (which may be rejected should there be a mistype or omission of requested information) or if you aren’t sure what your immigration status is, you need to contact a lawyer.
Immigration lawyers can be key to success in the following cases, to name a few:
- When you are seeking political asylum in the US.
The modern immigration law becomes more restrictive each day, thus making it more difficult to obtain asylum. An immigration lawyer can make it clear what and how you should tell your story to the asylum officer, what documentation you need to prepare in what time, and so on.
- When you want to obtain a visa but don’t know what options you have.
There are many types of visas, and so you need to prepare various documents. For example, if you want to move to the US as an employee (or if you’re an employer in the US and want to hire a professional from another country), you need to select the correct visa out of half a dozen EB-type visas. An immigration lawyer can clarify the situation to you.
- You don’t know whether you’re eligible for a green card.
Not only do you have to be careful when filling out the forms, but also you must be sure that you’re respect all the requirements that the US government defines for green card applicants. An immigration lawyer will be able to clarify your eligibility for green card.
- You will be expelled from the country.
If the Immigration Judge decides that you’re not eligible for asylum or visa, you may be removed from the country. What’s worse, if you decide to move to the US in the future, your new application for asylum or visa will almost always rejected. An immigration lawyer can help your present your case the best possible way to convince the judge. And if you were removed from the US and want to return, an immigration lawyer can also find out whether you have a chance of coming back.
- USCIS rejected or denied your immigration application.
Sometimes an immigration application is rejected because you don’t provide enough information to USCIS. In most cases, you’re allowed to file the application again with the missing information. However, if you were convicted of a felony, which led to denial of your application, you must contact an immigration lawyer. Also, if you didn’t provide valid information or even unintentionally omitted some information, USCIS may deny your right for obtaining a green card, citizenship, asylum, and any other immigration benefit. A lawyer will make sure that you provide correct information timely to increase your chances.
Common misconceptions about immigration lawyers
While we fully support the idea that immigration lawyers help in many immigration cases, we still need to clarify a few popular misconceptions about them.
Immigration lawyers give guarantees
Professional immigration lawyers can never give any guarantees whether your case will be successful or not. What they can do is prepare and present your case in the best possible way to USCIS or an Immigration Judge so you have the highest chances to obtain a visa, green card, citizenship, or asylum. Nevertheless, immigration lawyers don’t take decisions with regard to cases, which is why you can’t expect them to guarantee anything.
Hiring an immigration lawyer is a luxury
It’s true that many immigration lawyers are very expensive and cost up to $1,000-$12,000 per hour or even more. However, it’s possible to find a good lawyer for $100-300 per hour. You should ask a few questions to a cheaper immigration lawyer to verify their professionalism. And remember that the highest rates for legal help do not mean highest chances for success.
You need an immigration lawyer any time you contact USCIS
This statement is plain false. Even if you’re going through removal proceeding, you’re not obliged to hire a lawyer and you can protect yourself on your own.