Leaving your hometown and moving to another country can require paperwork and fulfilling country-specific requirements, among many other things. Therefore, a better idea is to consult a professional if you face any problems during the process or do not know how to proceed. The most relevant person to seek help from is your immigration lawyer.
However, you must confirm certain things from your lawyer before proceeding to ensure that you are on the right path. For example, you must be certain that your immigration lawyer has a record of dealing in similar cases, that they specialize in their field, and have the required resources to help you.
Sometimes, some immigration lawyers provide a certain set of services that may not include your particular concern. Other lawyers may charge differently or assign your case to another immigration lawyer.
Therefore, you need to know such things before proceeding. To help make your selection process easier, we have provided a list of questions to ask your lawyer when applying for immigration to any country.
1. Is Your Lawyer a Member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the State Bar Association?
The first and the most basic question to ask your lawyer is if they are a member of AILA and the State Bar Association as proof of their credibility. You can find many articles over the internet with links that can land you on the right homepage. Just look for keywords like Visit Our Website, click here, or learn more, and you can seek all the relevant information.
A member of the AILA means that your lawyers know about the immigration laws and regulations and are aware of the best practices in the industry. Your lawyer needs to update themselves for better guidance and immigration services.
The State Bar Association membership is important because immigration is a federal concern. Therefore, the location of your lawyer or law firm may not matter. However, while appearing in local district courts or the local USCIS district office, a local immigration lawyer will be able to help you in a better way. Since they will be aware of the local immigration judges and processes, they can easily help you overcome any obstacles.
2. Ask Your Lawyer about Qualifications and Experience
Inquiring if your lawyer has an accredited law degree with specialization and experience is extremely important to support your case. Valid Board certification will help prove they passed the bar exam and have the license to practice law in the State. They may qualify to offer varied law services. However, it is best to select lawyers specializing in immigration.
Their past success in related cases will improve your chances of success. Immigration lawyers must be experts in handling deportation proceedings, work visas, and green cards. Reviews and referrals of past clients on the website or in the office can be useful in checking their records.
3. Ask Your Lawyer for the Best Strategy to Tackle your Case
To use the best possible strategy, openly discuss your case with the lawyer and let them advise you on the best action plan. Let them tell you about any risks involved or hurdles you might face.
It also includes meeting all deadlines for affidavits, witness statements, if any, and immigration interview preparations. Let your lawyer inform you of all the necessary deadlines, paperwork, and procedures taken on your behalf so that you can prepare accordingly.
Devise the best possible strategy by getting involved throughout the process along all the steps, even though your lawyer will do all the heavy lifting. It will keep you updated with your case.
4. Inquire about the Cost of Legal Services
Before finalizing and hiring your immigration lawyer, inquire about the fee structure. Do not hesitate to get a quote from your lawyer with all expenses. It may include visa, permit, and lawyer’s fees and whether they will charge hourly or a fixed rate.
Also, inquire about hidden expenses like attestation fees, translated documents copies, courier or family immigration services.
Your legal fee may go up if your case is extensive and complicated, requiring paralegals, associates, and assistants. In this case, it is also essential to know who will be involved in your case.
On the other hand, some immigration lawyers also take up pro bono cases. It means they do not charge people who cannot afford them or charge a little or a fixed amount. Therefore, you can contact such attorneys if you have any financial troubles.
It is important so that you can plan your finances accordingly. You do not want any unanticipated expenses during the case. Therefore, be mindful of the costs involved.
5. Ask Whether You will be signing a Contract
Signing a contract with your lawyer entails written proof of everything agreed between the lawyer and the client. It can include the fee, proof of who will represent you, and in what capacities, terms, and conditions, responsibilities, obligations, expectations, etc.
Make sure both the parties agree on all points mentioned in the contract. Please read it thoroughly before signing it.
After signing, ask your lawyer about the initial steps to start the process.
6. Inquire About Your Case’s Success Prospects
In light of your case analysis, ask your lawyer what chances you have of winning the case. It also depends on the kind of strategy you devise with your lawyer. The stronger your case is, the higher the chances of success.
However, to ensure success, be upfront with your lawyer about everything. It includes having any possible criminal records or anything you might otherwise want to hide. The same goes for your lawyer. A good lawyer will be realistic with you regarding possible outcomes and circumstances that might influence your case’s success.
Applying for immigration can get tough, especially if you apply under any unique circumstances. To make your immigration procedure as seamless as possible, consult an expert immigration lawyer and ask the six questions mentioned before hiring one.
Asking these questions will help you select the best attorney. Ideally, it would help to choose someone trustworthy and reliable. If your attorney has good credentials, has a proven record, devises the best strategy for you, and is open and honest about your case prospects, hire away.
It is even better to consider accredited immigration law firms since they have many lawyers and associates. Hence, you can pick one who can manage your case in the best way.