Immigration law is one of the more exciting specializations in the legal field. An immigration lawyer gets to help others achieve their dream of becoming U.S. citizens.
Their roles vary, and they can wear several hats depending on which side of their expertise is needed.
They do much more beyond helping people become citizens of new countries.
Their assistance weighs heavy on how your experience of the immigration system would go. You don’t want to be navigating any area of immigration law alone.
There is a lot of paperwork process that goes along with immigration. Going through all that hassle on your own is sure to be stressful, and there is no guarantee your efforts would be successful.
Also, the truth about U.S. immigration is that many potential immigrants are not aware of everything required of them during the process. This lack of information becomes a barrier to their immigration process and getting into the country legally.
Still not sure why you need an Immigration lawyer? Let’s check out what these immigration lawyers do.
What is the role of an Immigration Lawyer?
Immigration lawyers help their clients interpret the law, analyze their rights, possibilities, and strategies, and guide them and their sponsors (e.g. a U.S. family member or employer) through all the required steps of the immigration process.
An immigration lawyer prepares a lot of paperwork on his client’s behalf.
They assist them with the items they need to collect on their own, like birth and marriage certificates.
They make sure the information you present when filling out the required forms and preparing statements and testimony is clear, accurate, and consistent.
A lot of time, these applications rely on the U.S. government officer believing your story. This means that mistakes and inconsistencies are a no-no. Immigration lawyers assist heavily with that and generally know all the tricks to avoid or minimize the delays.
They anticipate the issues their client will come across and prepare them adequately so their business does not get held up on legal technicalities that could have been otherwise avoided.
Examples of situations where you may need to hire an Immigration Lawyer
Immigration lawyers get hired mostly because their clients need help applying for immigration documents (such as a green card or a visa). This occurs mostly when the client in question cannot
fully understand the various requirements under immigration law.
Generally, there are certain instances when hiring an immigration lawyer is necessary. Some of these include:
- A situation where the applicant has been convicted of a crime. Almost all immigration forms ask if the applicant has been convicted of a crime. If that is the case, the applicant would need to disclose their entire criminal record. This includes charges that were dropped or expunged. An immigration lawyer understands how immigration and criminal law overlap and would be essential in such cases.
- A situation where the applicant’s prior immigration applications have been denied. If the client has had a go at it and failed before, an immigration lawyer would be able to determine why the previous application was rejected. They will inform the client if it is possible to appeal the application or re-apply later in the future.
- A situation where the applicant is applying for an employment-based visa, but their prospective employer is not assisting with immigration issues. Processing for these visas can be complicated. Hiring an immigration lawyer helps ensure that future employers fulfill their obligations to the applicant.
- A situation where the applicant has been deported in the past or excluded from entry into the country. Deportation and exclusion often mean a lot more than people in these situations understand. Its effect could mean that the person is permanently barred from future applications. An immigration lawyer can provide expert advice on the effects of deportation and exclusion.
- A situation where an applicant is waiting an unreasonably long time during the application process. Since Immigration lawyers are familiar with the processes, including deadlines and waiting times, they can help their clients pass this hurdle.
- A situation where the applicant has a medical condition. Certain ailments may prevent a person’s entry into the country (like infectious diseases). A lawyer would assist the client and advise them regarding their medical condition and their immigration process.
- A situation where the applicant is seeking to adjust their permanent resident status but has recently divorced and has married a different U.S. citizen. The first marriage may be suspected to be a scam. An immigration lawyer may be necessary to assist in proving the legitimacy of the first marriage.
- A situation where the person who is immigrating to the U.S. with their family has a child who might reach age 21 before permanent resident status is granted. The eligibility for permanent resident status is different for children under the age of 21. An immigration lawyer helps create the best approach for filing for children of applicants.
- A situation where the applicant has begun the application process but has no idea what to do next. Sometimes USCIS may request some additional documentation to support an applicant’s claim. Working with an immigration lawyer from the beginning of the process would help prevent delays and speed up the process tremendously.
Finding the Right Lawyer
When you are looking to hire yourself an immigration lawyer, it’s important you try and find an excellent lawyer.
A majority of the accomplished immigration lawyers in the field are members of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA).
Even as membership to this association is not compulsory, members get the advantage of access to their colleagues, information, and liaison committees. As a result, they can keep abreast of ever-changing legal environments and deal with challenging situations.
You should talk to more than one attorney before committing. Choose a lawyer that makes you comfortable and has experience with cases similar to yours.
Do I need an Immigration Lawyer?
A lot of times, the process of immigration confounds the average person. Many take several months or even years to complete.
The help an immigration lawyer offers is invaluable in this regard because it saves you a lot of time and energy.
Additionally, if you have an immigration hearing, having an attorney present would ensure that your interests are fully protected. Best of luck!