The U.S. immigration process is notoriously long, arduous, expensive, and complicated. It is not a system an inexperienced person should attempt to navigate alone, which is why hiring an immigration lawyer to guide you through the immigration process is a good idea. Making a mistake may lead to delays or put your immigration status and future citizenship at risk. This is why it’s important to know what to look for when you’re searching for an immigration lawyer.
Specialization in Immigration
When searching for an immigration lawyer, it’s important to understand that not everyone out there who advertises their services is an actual attorney. Be wary of “notarios” or “immigration consultants” who won’t be able to do much more for you than fill out forms. Immigration law is complex and perpetually changing, so you need to make sure the person you choose is a licensed lawyer with a specialization in immigration.
One great thing about immigration law is that it is a federal area of practice, which means your lawyer has to be licensed to practice in the U.S., but it doesn’t matter exactly where. You may live in New York and have a lawyer in California, for example. This gives you access to lawyers all across the country rather than needing one specifically from your area.
Referrals and Recommendations
As is the case when searching for any professional service, some of your best sources of information may be family and friends, or strangers who have experience with the service. If you have a personal relationship with someone who has used the services of an immigration lawyer, ask what their experience was like and if they would recommend the lawyer they hired. Even if they wouldn’t, they can be a great source of information by telling you what to look for or what they would have done differently if given the chance.
Sometimes you don’t have any personal friends or acquaintances who have been in a similar situation to yours, but strangers can still help. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to find unbiased appraisals of plenty of options who might turn out to be a good match for you.
Speaks Your Language
For immigration in particular, you quite literally want a lawyer who speaks your language (or at least has someone available who does). It’s important to be involved in the process, since it requires very personal and accurate information about yourself and your life, and you won’t be able to provide this information properly if you can’t effectively communicate with your attorney.
It’s also important to more figuratively find someone who “speaks your language” — that is, someone with whom you feel comfortable and whom you feel you can trust. A good way to do this is to use the referrals and recommendations that you’ve accumulated to pick a few attorneys who seem like they might be a good fit for you, and then set up a meeting with each one and choose the one you feel most comfortable with.
An Immigration Attorney in San Diego can help guide you through the U.S. immigration process, whether you’re looking for a green card, permanent residency, or U.S. citizenship. Contact an experienced immigration attorney who can answer your questions, provide advice, and explain the immigration process to you and make sure everything is done properly and on time to make the process as smooth as possible.