Tips to Choosing an Immigration Lawyer
Build a Relationship with your Attorney
Your visa is the first step to being able to legally live in the United States. It is also the first, but, more likely, not the last time you’re dealing with USCIS office. If all goes well, you will soon be applying for U.S. citizenship. This is why it is important that you build a good relationship with your attorney, so that he or she can serve you to the best of his or her ability in the future when you are ready to take that step forward.
Hire a Lawyer Who Speaks Your Language
Pick a lawyer who speaks your language fluently. This greatly streamlines the process and ensures that you and your lawyer are always on the same page in terms of understood legal nuances. The lawyer would also be able to make sure that the certified translations of your documents from your native tongue to English are accurate.
Upload the Process to the Cloud
Adopt a cloud file storage for the documents you need to submit with your case file. Sign the documents electronically and employ a project management system to manage the process such as Asana and Google Drive.
Tips to Choosing an Excellent Immigration Lawyer
Get a Referral
Often word-of-mouth is the best way to choose an immigration attorney. Your network of family, friends or colleagues may know other individuals who have dealt with immigration attorneys in order to acquire a green card residency visa or other benefit. You can learn firsthand about the kind of experience the individual had when working with the immigration attorney.
Asking for References
After you’ve been referred to a good lawyer, schedule a consultation where the lawyer strategizes his/her plan of action for your individual situation. Be sure to ask for references. A good immigration lawyer should have great online reviews (Google, Yelp, Avvo) and an abundant list of happy former clients willing to recommend the firm’s services.
Consider More than Just Price
Don’t blindly choose an immigration lawyer based on pricing. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of sub-par immigration attorneys out there offering reduced pricing versus the competition. Some may be handling too many cases at once and don’t have a proper team to dedicate quality time and personalized service to your case. Others may not have the proper experience in complicated areas of immigration law.
Hiring a Lawyer Who Speaks Your Language
Choose a lawyer (and a firm) which speaks your language fluently. This improves communication throughout the process and ensures that you and your lawyer are understanding complicated legal nuances.
Build a Relationship with your Attorney
A visa is your first step in being able to legally reside in the United States. It may be the first, but likely not the last, time you’re communicating with the USCIS.
How to Find an Excellent Immigration Lawyer
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.
Be Skeptical of Unrealistic Promises
Not even the best attorneys can guarantee success. Ultimately, the outcome of your case is up to an immigration judge, the Department of Homeland Defense and/or USCIS. Any attorney claiming he or she has a 100% success rate and guaranteeing you a particular outcome may need to be more closely evaluated.
Run From Lawyers Who Give Unethical Advice or Make 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.
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE BEST IMMIGRATION LAWYERS
USE THE CLOUD
It’s a good idea to look for a lawyer who is comfortable and capable of using the cloud in place of excessive physical paperwork. Paperless signing can make the entire process much easier.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE COMFORTABLE
In addition to the more technical aspects of looking for the best immigration lawyers, you should also take into your gut instinct into account. If a lawyer doesn’t seem like he would be a good fit for you but his credentials look great on paper, you still may want to turn the other way.
NEGOTIATE THE FEE
Before you hire a lawyer, it is important that you know exactly what you will be paying for. You should take the time to negotiate the fees ahead of time and know exactly what to expect from your relationship.
CHECK FOR REFERENCES
If you’re considering using a lawyer, chances are you will sit down for a consultation to discuss your needs. This is a great time to ask the attorney for references.
How Do I Choose the Right Immigration Lawyer?
First of All, Beware Unregistered Advice
Before you do anything, make sure your immigration lawyer or migration agent is in fact registered.
What’s the Difference Between Migration Agents, Immigration Lawyers, and Accredited Specialist Immigration Lawyers?
Right then: you’re going with a registered immigration lawyer or migration agent.
What Are Migration Agents?
Originally there were just immigration lawyers. However, a few decades ago, due to a burgeoning number of unregulated “backyard” advisers in the industry, the government decided it would be better to bring such operators under their control by creating a non-lawyer category of adviser called a “migration agent”, sometimes also referred to as an “immigration agent”.