10 Reasons to Hire an Immigration Lawyer
In my 10+ years as an practicing attorney, many people have asked me if they need to hire an immigration lawyer to process their petitions. Of course, I am biased. But I also have seen the difficulties that people have faced as they tried to navigate the system on their own. I have seen people get deported because of poor work done on their behalf by fraudulent “notarios.” And I have had many clients who came to me to fix problems with their cases, track information lost in the system, and reverse denials that devastated their lives.
Immigration laws are very complex – and they are constantly changing.
But it is not just the laws that determine the outcome of a petition. Often, the government (The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) changes its administrative procedures and priorities. These changes often result in changes in processing times, requisites, and approval criteria.
Petitions for family-based immigration adjustments can often take years to be processed, approved, or denied. Errors in the application process can seriously impact and delay the length of the process and, ultimately, the outcome of your petitions.
An experienced immigration attorney can help you navigate the numerous steps required for applying for any immigration adjustment, including permanent residency and citizenship and naturalization. But why hire an attorney?
“Only attorneys or accredited representatives can give you legal advice about which forms to submit, explain immigration options you may have, communicate with USCIS about your case.” USCIS
1. An experienced immigration attorney will know the law thoroughly. She will be up to date on any recent changes to the law.
2. An experienced immigration attorney will know the administrative forms, requisites, and procedures required to process your petition. She will be up to date on all the latest administrative changes that affect the implementation of the law.
3. An experienced immigration attorney will know the exact form to submit on your behalf. She will also know the exact formats and requisites needed to have your documents approved by the government.
4. An attorney will also know how to track your petition once it reaches the government and will know how to quickly respond for requests for additional information.
5. An immigration attorney is held accountable by professional standards. All attorneys must be in good standing members their state’s bar association. These industry standards are a way of promoting accurate and professional work. Their accreditation is designed to foster the consistent presence of the attorney’s law offices. This longevity will be helpful for you during the years that your petition is being processed by the government.
6. An immigration attorney will be able to represent your interest, defend your rights, and communicate about your case with USCIS. If this attorney has been with you from the begining of the petition, she will know the full history of your case.7. An experienced immigration attorney will understand the vast complexities of USCIS processing bureaucracy, the enforcement practices law enforcement agencies, the procedures followed by the country’s numerous detention centers, and the procedures necessary to process your case through the immigration court system.
8. An experience immigration attorney knows and protects your legal rights. Even if your immigration status is being processed through the immigration system, our society affords you the dignity, safety, protection of human rights. Regardless of your immigration status, you have the right to be protected from abuse, exploitation, or crimes.
9. An experienced immigration attorney can help you appeal a denial of present or past petitions. A number of factors may cause your petition to be denied. This may cause you to be placed in removal proceedings. Appealing or overturning a denial – or a deportation order – is a complex procedure. An attorney can protect your rights during this appeal or re-opening of your case.
10. An experienced immigraiton attorney can prevent you from making critical mistakes. Attorney Rupal has helped many clients who tried to petition for themselves, but made critical mistakes that delayed their petitions for years, and resulted in denials and deportations!
BONUS: #11: Over my last ten years in practice, I have helped several clients whose applications were delayed, lost, or denied because they relied on “notarios” or “immigration experts” to file their applications. While “notarios” may be well-intentioned and sometimes less-expensive, they are not legally authorized to give legal advise on immigration laws. Furthermore, they cannot represent you before USCIS or communicate with USCIS about your case. They are not held accountable by their State Bar Association or any professional organization. Finally, because they do not receive the latest training from professional lawyers associations, they often do not know the full details of the law and the government’s administrative procedures.
USCIS has published a number of useful articles about how to avoid immigration scams, including notarios, web sites that promise immigration solutions, or hoax lottery schemes. The American Bar Association has also published an article on How to Fight Notario Fraud.
Attorney Rupal always advices people to be careful, to be informed, and to interview attorneys personally before hiring them.
To ensure you understand and are informed through the entire petition process, you will also need an immigration attorney that is personable, reliable, and committed to serving you in the long-term. Do not be afraid to ask for second opinions!
Before you “hire” an attorney: Ask how long he/she has been “Bar Certified.” Ask whether the attorney specializes in immigration law. Ask for references. Ask if the same attorney will handle your case for entire processing life. Ask whether law clerks or your attorney will handle your case. Ask whether your attorney will be available for questions about your case. Finally, ask yourself: are you comfortable working with this attorney?
Call our office and speak with Attorney Rupal directly so you can decide if you want to hire her as your attorney – for the long process ahead.
Attorney Rupal will work closely with you to assess your eligibility for adjustment of status, naturalization, or visa petitions for yourself or your relatives. If you or your relatives relatives qualify, she will guide you in preparing all the necessary documents and forms necessary for filing.
As an immigration law expert, she knows the law as well as the procedures and waiting periods necessary for all immigration petitions. She will remain with you along the entire petition process from beginning to completion.
Law Office of Rupal Parikh Aristimuno
Address: 26 Park Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
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