Try to handle the immigration process without a lawyer and you will discover how daunting and overwhelming it is. However, when you are under the guidance of the best immigration lawyers, you will be happier and get great results.
With the right immigration lawyer, you will begin on the right foot and the whole process will be error-free. However, most people don’t know what to look for when shopping for the best immigration attorney.
This article will help you learn how to choose a good immigration attorney. However, it is wise to start by understanding the scope of work of an immigration attorney. From here, it will be easier to understand the tips that will help you choose the right attorney for your immigration process.
What Can a Good Immigration Lawyer Do to Help You?
- Coach you and assist you to prepare for the upcoming immigration interview
- Help you understand by explaining the nature of the benefits that you are seeking
- Assist you in collecting the required documents and present them to the immigration officials in an acceptable manner
- Evaluate the risks that are involved in your case and identify if you have missed any issues.
Guide to Choosing the Best Immigration Lawyers
You need to pay attention to several factors when choosing an immigration lawyer. The top ones include but are not limited to:
Getting Trustworthy Referrals
Asking around to get a referral is one of the proven ways of identifying a great lawyer. Checking with your friends, relatives, church members and even workmates is a good starting point.
If you come across a person who has gone through the immigration process, they can direct you to the lawyer who helped them. Searching websites can also help you get trusted lawyers through online referrals.
Avoid Employing General Practitioners
Most general practitioners don’t have the right knowledge to handle immigration matters. General practitioners rarely handle immigration cases. Therefore, they may not have the right skills and up to date information on immigration matters. Thus, it is not a good idea to trust such people with your case.
The practices, policies and procedures of immigration law keep on changing. A general practitioner may not have the latest updates in the industry. As a result, you may end up suffering immense disadvantages in your case.
An immigration lawyer, on the other hand, comes with the advantage of a specialist. The secret is just getting one of the best immigration lawyers in town. Look for a lawyer who deals with immigration matters such as asylum, naturalization, visas, business immigration, green cards, family immigration, appeals, deportation defense, etc.
Avoid Unrealistic Promises
Immigration cases tend to be so complicated. If you come across an attorney who tells you that the case is easy and that you should not worry, be skeptical. Such lawyers are normally inexperienced and naïve. Knowledgeable immigration lawyers can predict the challenges that may arise and lay strategies for overcoming these potential problems.
Regular Office Hours Availability
If you make a phone call to an immigration lawyer or send him an email, note how long he will take to respond. It will help you determine their availability and whether they have time for your case.
Good immigration lawyers tend to be very busy with heavy caseloads on their back. Someone may end up neglecting your case.
The lawyer should give you a timeline in which he expects to start and complete your case. If the attorney has limited or no time for you, move to the next option. Immigration Lawyers Expert Guidance comes from experience hence you cannot overlook this element.
Before signing the attorney’s contract, confirm the cost of the services. It is good to go for services that you can afford. Immigration cases have several costs including the documentation filing fees.
Get to know how much you need to pay upfront to retain the lawyer and his overall fee. Also understand how long the lawyer takes to bill clients. Some attorneys have a fixed fee while others have negotiable legal fees. Knowing all these details will help you to make an informed decision.
Experience is the only thing that will increase the likelihood of winning your case. The best immigration lawyers should have handled several cases with a high success rate. Therefore, it is worthwhile to ask the lawyer about his track record.
Let his describe his legal experience and the strategy that he used to get the most favorable results. Even though immigration cases are complex and predicting the outcome is hard, experience represents confidence and competence.
It can significantly increase the possibility of winning your case. A lawyer who has been in the industry for several years will work effectively with the immigration officials and court. These lawyers are also familiar with the procedures and policies of the court.
Written contracts give you the guarantees that you need. Be keen to ensure that both parties sign the contract. The agreement will make sure that the lawyer does not overpromise and under deliver.
The written contract should indicate all the legal services the lawyer promises. It should also display the cost of the case.
Never choose an immigration lawyer without questioning his work ethics. Ask the lawyer if he has been reprimanded for any unwanted behavior even though it is hard to ask such questions.
Search online to see if the attorney has engaged in any misconduct or unethical behavior. Avoid lawyers who record negative customer reviews or unethical conduct. Besides, if a lawyer is involved in a disciplinary violation when representing you, it will affect his ability to represent you appropriately.
Check for Professional Affiliations and Membership
A lawyer who has professional affiliations and membership always commits himself to abide by the set standards. AILA (American Immigration Lawyer Association) is an example of such an organization.
Such membership shows that the lawyer is committed to stick to the best practices and stay abreast of new legal developments. Immigration policies and practices change often. Lawyers who belong to professional associations will continually receive this up to date information.
Lawyers Online Presence
Always look for the online presence of the immigration lawyers before hiring them. Lawyers who have been practicing for several years will have a website that carries multiple reviews from past clients. If the case is contrary, be keen and proceed with caution.
With the above tips, choosing the best immigration lawyers is a walk in the park. However, you need to put in as much effort as you can to succeed. Start with a long list of immigration lawyers, choose the best, and then interview them. Identify the ones who meet the above criteria and choose one you will be comfortable working with.