In recent years, immigration laws have been getting stricter and stricter, especially for non-citizens seeking to immigrate to the United States. For anyone looking to begin the process, you will likely need to hire a professional immigration lawyer to navigate you through the complexities of immigration law. So what are some of the more essential questions you should ask when you first meet?
1. How Much Will It Cost?
Although this might seem like a crass question to first ask a lawyer, it is often the deciding factor on whether you will go ahead or not. As much as people want the very best and are happy to pay for it, the reality is that when it comes to immigration, you might not have an enormous battle chest to pay your way through the bureaucracy. Furthermore, trusted NYC immigration lawyers at Lightman Law Firm suggest that these services should be provided in an honest, upfront, and affordable manner to serve those who need a helping hand. You should find out how they charge and their rates to better understand if you want to go ahead. The best option would be to get several quotes from law firms around the city you are attempting to move to.
2. What Is Their Experience With Immigration Cases?
Experience is a massive factor in whether you will succeed in your application or not. This is because immigration law is a complex set of codified instructions and precedents. If your lawyer is new or the firm you hire is unspecialized in this form of law, you could discover that you cannot continue in the process. Additionally, a good lawyer can make seemingly insurmountable hurdles disappear. Some sub-questions you should ask are:
- Do they have experience with similar cases?
- Have they practiced immigration law for long?
- Are they familiar with dealing with government and court officials?
One additional way to determine their experience and ability is to check their credentials. Ask them if they are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA); this will verify that they can handle your case effectively and understand immigration law.
3. What Can They Do For You?
You want to find a lawyer who is passionate about immigration law and helping people to enter the country legally. You must ask them what they provide because, after all, you will be paying them a fee for their services, so you ought to expect them to do their best to earn your business.
4. What Do They Need From You?
No matter how fantastic your lawyer is, you will need to play an active role in helping them to secure your immigration case. You should already know most of the items and documents you will need to prove your identity and criminal history, but you should ask your lawyer if there is anything else that could help. If necessary, they will accommodate you with guidance on what information you will need to provide further. This can potentially save time and keep your costs lower in the long run. You should also discuss with them exactly what kind of immigration visa you need. The type of visa will have a significant impact on how smoothly things can go.
5. What Is The Timeline To Completion?
While they might be unable to provide you with an exact date the process finishes, they will likely be able to provide you with an estimation barring any unforeseen problems. It can be a time-consuming and challenging process, so it is best to prepare as much as possible in advance of your immigration hearing. By establishing a timeline, you will better understand what needs to be done at each stage.
6. What Are The Channels Of Communication?
Communication is vital when dealing with cases like these. Therefore, you should establish how and when you can communicate with each other. Continually pestering your lawyer with questions all day and night is the last thing you want to do. The only result of this is to slow down your case. Nevertheless, you should ensure that your lawyer is also maintaining contact with you and updating you at each step of the procedure. This way, both parties will remain content, and everyone will understand what is going on. Regarding the actual channels of communication, it is up to you both to decide. Some law firms insist on everything being sent via email, while others have a more relaxed view on taking phone calls.
You should know that immigration law is a complicated beast, and only the very best lawyers can handle these cases. Consequently, you will benefit from asking these questions to receive the highest quality service and the greatest chance of success.