Are you looking to immigrate to the United States? If so, you need to hire a U.S. immigration lawyer. The immigration process can be very tricky, and having an immigration lawyer by your side can help you navigate the system more easily. But, before you hire an immigration lawyer, there are some questions you need to ask. Below are the 7 questions you need to ask a U.S. immigration lawyer before hiring them.
1. What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
First things first, you’ll want to ask an immigration lawyer what kind of experience they have.
Ideally, you’ll want to find an immigration lawyer who has at least several years of experience under their belt. Additionally, you want to make sure the lawyer you hire has experience specifically in immigration law.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, immigration law is very intricate, so it’s vital that you hire a lawyer with experience in this particular area. Here are some other questions you can ask to learn more about an immigration lawyer’s experience:
- Have you worked on cases like mine?
- How does an immigration bond work?
- How long have you been practicing immigration law for?
- What sort of experience do you have dealing with court and government officials?
Additionally, you should ask the attorney if they’re a member of the AILA. AILA stands for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and being a member of this organization ensures that your lawyer has specialized knowledge in immigration law.
2. How Can You Help Me?
Asking how a lawyer can help you is a very broad question. But, that’s the point. By asking such a broad question, you’ll be able to tell how well a lawyer can think on their feet and how eloquent they can speak under pressure.
When you’re searching for an immigration lawyer, you want to find one who can clearly tell your story to a judge. Therefore, this is a very important question to ask.
3. What Do You Need from Me?
Immigration law is about more than just having your lawyer write some letters and fill out some forms.
In order for your immigration process to go as smoothly as possible, you’ll want to take on an active role. By figuring out what your attorney needs from you and getting it to them on time, the process will be a lot easier for the both of you.
4. What Sort of Timeline Should I Expect?
As you’re probably already aware, immigrating to the US is not an overnight process.
Immigration can be a difficult and complicated process, and you want to be as prepared as possible for the road ahead. By having a general timeline of how long everything will take, it’ll be easier to understand what you need to do during each step along the way.
While your immigration lawyer won’t be able to give you exact dates upfront, they should be able to provide you with a general timeline.
5. How Will We Communicate?
It’s very important that you communicate with your lawyer throughout the immigration process. This will help ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines or appointments.
Ideally, you want to find an immigration lawyer who will be staying in touch with you directly, either through email or phone. If they mention that you’ll be primarily in touch with their legal secretary or paralegal, this is a sign that they may not be able to give your case the full attention it needs.
6. How Does My Case Compare to Others?
Before you begin the immigration process, it’s very important to understand how your case compares to others that your lawyer has handled.
Not only will this help you understand your lawyer’s experience, but it’ll also help you plan for the road ahead. A good lawyer won’t sugar coat your case for you. Rather, they’ll tell you the specific areas they’re confident in and what areas still need work.
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to refine your case.
7. How Do You Charge Clients?
Before you sign on with an immigration lawyer, it’s very important that you understand how you’re going to be charged and how much you’re going to be charged.
While rates will vary based on where you live and the complexity of your case, most immigration lawyers charge between $150 and $300 per hour. Typically, consultations cost between $75 and $150 per hour.
While it may be tempting to go for the cheapest rate possible, remember that with lawyers, you get what you pay for.
8. Do You Have References?
Because there are such high stakes with your immigration case, it’s very important that you hire a lawyer with a good reputation.
The best way to learn about a lawyer’s reputation is to talk to others who have used their services. So, make sure to ask lawyers for references before hiring.
But, keep in mind that lawyers are only going to give you their best references. Therefore, it’s important to also read reviews online. You should also check to see if the lawyer has any complaints filed against them through the Better Business Bureau.
9. Do You Have a Website?
If a lawyer is reputable, then they should definitely have a professional-looking website.
The website should include information about the law firm, contact information, client testimonials, and hopefully, a blog. Spend some time perusing the lawyer’s website so you can learn as much about them as possible.
Are You Ready to Hire a U.S. Immigration Lawyer?
Now that you’ve read this article, it’s time to hire a U.S. immigration lawyer. Hopefully, you’ll soon be a citizen of the United States thanks to the lawyer you hire.