Being faced with an immigration issue can be very difficult and confusing. You will likely have many questions. In addition to an enormous amount of uncertainty, there may also be a language barrier. You may feel as though your life and livelihood in the country in which you wish to reside could be literally hanging in the balance — and you are right. That is why it is so important to know the right questions to ask when you first call or meet with an immigration attorney, especially if you are not familiar with immigration law. Asking the right questions can help you determine if the attorney and firm are right for you.
At Ivanor Law we believe it is very important to develop strong working relationships with our clients and we stand with them side by side in making sure their immigration case is handled properly and with personalized attention. With decades of immigration law experience we offer free consultations on all immigration law cases. Whether you have questions about immigration, Visa, H-1B visa, citizenship, E-3 visa, federal immigration, Green Card, USCIS, G-28, O2 visa, we have outlined the top 8 questions to ask your immigration attorney.
8 Questions To Ask Your Immigration Lawyer
Question 1: How long have you been practicing Immigration Law?
When you deal with immigration you need an attorney that is extremely knowledgeable and up-to-date with the constantly changing immigration laws. With experience and longevity comes expertise. At Ivanor Law, we have over 50 years of collective experience in immigration law. We are well versed in dealing with the court system and government officials at all levels. It is very important to ask your immigration lawyer how long they have been practicing and what type of immigration law experience they have.
Question 2: What do you need from me to get started?
An experienced attorney will know what forms and documentation you should bring to your consultation and will need to begin working on your case. By taking an active role and asking what types of documents are needed you will be better be able to assist your attorney in ensuring your case stays on track and any and all documentation deadlines from the courts or government officials are met. This will help the entire process run smoothly throughout your case.
Question 3: What can you do to assist me throughout my case?
Immigration law is complex. It is important to ask how your attorney plans to work for you and with you. It is also important to ask how you can help them and their process of follow up after your application is filed to ensure it is processed timely, which can greatly improve your chances of success.
Question 4: What is the best type of citizenship application for me?
While you know your personal circumstances better than anyone else, it is important for you to communicate everything to your immigration lawyer, who knows the ins and outs of immigration law and has the knowledge and insight as to what will work best for you and your case. You and the immigration lawyer have different sets of knowledge and while you may think one form is best, your lawyer might know of one that will better meet your needs.
Question 5: Where should I file?
Your immigration attorney knows and understands the law and the importance of where you apply. For example, it is very important that you apply at the correct immigration office or border crossing. If you do not apply in the correct location, you may experience complications, delays, and/or refusal of your application.
Question 6: How will we communicate?
Communication is extremely important to the success of your immigration case. Ask your immigration attorney the plan for communication. Will they contact you by phone or email? What is the protocol if the attorney is out of the office? What is the expected window of time you can expect your attorney to follow up after you contact them? Make sure you have an agreed upon system for staying in touch and what days and times work with your schedule and if possible set a standing meeting for at least once a month to discuss progress and updates.
Question 7: What is the expected timeline for my case?
Ask your immigration attorney what the anticipated timeline for the process as whole will be as well as how long each part of the process will take. This will assist you in making plans in anticipation of moving forward with your immigration case. The immigration process can be unexpectedly delayed at times for various reasons which is why it is so important to communicate regularly with your immigration attorney as noted above.
Question 8: What is the cost?
It is important to ask your immigration attorney the anticipated costs associated with your case. Your immigration attorney will know the anticipated time it will take and various court and filing fees associated with your case.
What Else Should I Talk To My Immigration Lawyer About?
You should talk to you lawyer about important immigration processing information. We have outlined several important topics below:
- When you want to file for a Family Based Immigrant VISA you must:
- File an I-130 visa petition with the USCIS on behalf of your relative.
- Family members must be a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident in the U.S. and must be able to provide the necessary documentation.
- Applicable sponsor (family member/relative) must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty line – affidavit of support.
- Petitioner/U.S. Citizen may petition for the following members to immigrate to the U.S.A:
- Husband or Wife
- Unmarried child under 21years of age
- Unmarried son or daughter over 21 years of age
- Married son or daughter of any age
- Brother or Sister, if the sponsor is over the age of 21 years of age
- Parent, if sponsor is at least 21 years of age
- Petitioner/Lawful Permanent Resident may petition for the following relatives to immigrate to the U.S.A.:
- Husband or Wife
- Unmarried son(s) or daughter(s) of any age
- If you are planning on marrying you can apply for a Fiancé Visa (K1):
- Petitioner is a U.S. citizen
- Petitioner intends to marry finance within 90 days after entry into the U.S.A.
- Both parties must be free to marry (if any previous marriages they must have been lawfully terminated)
- Have met fiancé at least once in person within 2 years of filing petition (certain exemptions to this requirement exist)
- Applying fiancé would receive a 90 day visa and after the marriage would be eligible to apply for permanent residence and remain in the U.S.A.
- Undocumented spouses and children have some new options:
The Obama Administration moved to ease green card rules for undocumented spouses of children of American citizens, making immediate – family breakups less likely as illegal immigrants apply for U.S. residency. An estimated 100,000 illegal residents could be affected by the change. Contact me for more details.
Immigration law can be stressful and confusing. While the 8 questions above capture the most important questions to ask, you should not limit yourself to just these questions and be sure to ask your immigration attorney about anything that you feel may pertain to you and your case. Don’t risk your immigration status or try to go it alone. Ivanor Law will be by your side and help you through every stage of your case.