Immigration lawyers are extremely accessible
When choosing a lawyer ask to see letters of accredidation
or a State Bar Association certificate.
Speak personally with your prospective lawyer. Ask
if there is any initial fee for a consultation, normally there
is. If you are not satisfied, speak with a different attorney.
Remember: In the United States it is illegal
to practice law without a license.
From the begining your lawyer will tell you how
much his or her services cost, give you an honest estimate,
and keep you informed of the costs during the process.
Local nonprofit immigration assistance services
may be free or require a very low fee if you meet the low income
Can An Immigration Lawyer Help You?
An immigration lawyer can help you in the following ways:
- Analyze the facts of your case thoroughly.
- Explain all the benefits for which you may be eligible.
- Recommend the best ways for you to obtain legal status.
- Complete and submit your applications properly.
- Stay current on the new laws that affect you.
- Avoid delays and problems with your case whenever
- Discuss the status of your case with you.
- Speak for you in discussions with the Department of Homeland Security or represent
you in court.
- File necessary appeals and waivers.
- Utilize the system to your advantage because he or
she has the experience to do so.
How Do You Find An Immigration Lawyer Or An Accredited
Representative To Assist You?
Option 1: Visit www.ailalawyer.com, the online directory of attorneys
who are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Option 2: Visit or talk with the lawyer personally.
Is he or she trustworthy and knowledgeable? What does the lawyer
say can be done for you? How much will it cost? Ask if there
is an initial consultation fee; there often is. If you are not
satisfied talk to another lawyer.
Option 3: Ask about local nonprofit immigration
assistance services with accredited representatives to see if
you meet their low-income eligibility requirements. If you do,
the assistance would be free or would require a very low fee.
Make sure that they have a good reputation and that you feel
comfortable with their skills. Some accredited representatives
may offer only limited types of assistance.
- Notaries, consultants, service bureaus, travel agents, or
others who promise quick, easy solutions to immigration problems.
- Anyone who guarantees they can get you a visa for a certain
- Lawyers from other countries who do not know U.S. laws and
are not licensed to practice in the U.S.
- People who say the "know someone" who has an "inside track"
or anyone who wants money to influence or bribe.
- Be wary of unlicensed operators! They are not accountable
to anyone. They are known for taking people's money and doing
nothing. Or worse, they may lie to the government in your
name for a quick, simple solution that in the end may result
in your deportation or permanent exclusion from the U.S.
- If you are not sure whether the person offering you immigration
services is a lawyer or an accredited representative, ask
to see the accreditation letters or U.S. bar admission certificate.
If you are still not sure, call the State Bar Association.
Remember, in the United States it is illegal to practice law
without a license.
What is an Immigration Lawyer? an Accredited Representative?
An immigration lawyer has studied the immigration laws
of the United States and has graduated from law school. He or
she is licensed to practice law and is regulated by the State
and Federal Government. He or she can help you obtain legal
status from the Department of Homeland Security or represent
you in Immigration Court.
An accredited representative with a recognized nonprofit
agency has been given permission by the U.S. government to help
low-income individuals with immigration problems as long as
only modest fees are charged.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is
the government agency that handles immigration and nationality
matters for foreign nationals who come to the United States.
They process applications and petitions for legal status, decide
who can enter and stay in the U.S., and enforce U.S. immigration