What to Look for in an Immigration Attorney

immigration attorney

With Congress deciding the fate of thousands of immigrants, now is the time to take action if you’re thinking of immigrating to the United States. It’s not an easy process.

It’s time-consuming and there’s still a chance you won’t be accepted. Your best chances lie with hiring a good immigration attorney.

But not all attorneys are the same. Make sure you choose wisely. Here’s how to find a good immigration lawyer.

Get References to Find An Immigration Attorney

Hiring an immigration attorney is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you find the wrong one, it could mean the difference between getting a job and being shipped back to where you came from.

Ask friends, family, and co-workers if they can recommend a good attorney to you. Don’t forget to ask what they liked best about their attorney. Then ask what they liked least about their attorney.

Search AILA

Another way to find a great lawyer is to search the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). You’ll find lawyers who teach and practice immigration law.

If you don’t have any recommendations, try finding a lawyer who is located in your area. If you do have referrals, look them up to see if they’re members.

While membership isn’t a requirement, it is a good indication of their level of commitment to their practice.

Ask for References from the Immigration Attorney

Contact the immigration lawyer and ask them for references. It’s important to speak with other people who have already used their services to get a good idea of how they work.

A good attorney will have plenty of happy clients who would be willing to recommend their services to you. Call up those clients and ask them what they liked best and least about working with the attorney.

Always work with an attorney who is happy to answer all your questions. Zanes Law regularly schedules calls to answer your questions for free.

Discuss Fees Upfront

Lawyers aren’t cheap. They also don’t all use the same billing system. Most immigration firms charge by the hour.

But some firms charged fixed fees to prepare and file your case. It’s better for you to opt for a fixed fee for their services. You can also require them to provide an estimate of their fees and services so you have a clear indication of the final costs.

Negotiate your fees before you start working with them so there are no unfortunate surprises in the future for you.

Make Sure They Speak Your Language

Immigration law is complex. Each case is completely different.

Good communication is vitally necessary to ensure the best outcome. Make sure your attorney speaks your native language well. You need to understand the legal nuances.

The attorney should also be able to provide you with accurate certified translations of your documents in your native tongue to English. Even if you speak English well, it’s still vitally important to find a lawyer you can communicate well with.

Ensure They’re a real Lawyer

Do not hire anyone but an actual, practicing lawyer to handle your immigration matters. Some non-lawyers like a visa consultant, or a petition preparer make claims they can help you. They might even be less expensive.

But they are also unprepared to handle such a complex matter. They also won’t be held responsible if they handle your case improperly. It’s worth the money to hire an actual attorney.

Always Hire the Best

Before you hire anyone, do your research. Then find appropriate attire if you need to appear in court.

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