How Can An Immigration Lawyer Help You How to choose an immigration attorney? Once you decide to consult with an immigration attorney, you will face a challenge of selecting an attorney who is right for you If you are not living in a big city, there may be few immigration attorneys to choose from. You may go for a phone consultation with an immigration attorney if you just have a few questions and your case is not pending in immigration court. You may send your papers by e-mail to an immigration attorney in San Francisco for review. Immigration attorneys in San Francisco give consultations by phone or skype, accept credit card payments over the phone. Please keep in mind that not all the people who will try to help you with immigration issues are in fact immigration attorneys. There is a lot of immigration fraud in the Russian and Hispanic communities in big cities all over the United States. Notarios, paralegals, and translators are not immigration attorneys, they are not qualified to give immigration advice. At the very beginning ask the person if he or she is a member of the Bar, and get the immigration attorney’s Bar number. Check the status of the attorney’s license on the website of the State Bar Association that issued the license If you care about the outcome of your case, do not want to lose your money and get a denial, avoid unqualified legal aid. You can learn about immigration fraud and how not to become a victim on the USCIS website Immigration Lawyers and Top Rated Immigration Attorneys Through the process of naturalization, foreign citizens or nationals are able to become a United States citizen, so long as they fulfill the requirements that were established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Applying for citizenship can be an exhaustive and expensive process. The costs associated with the application process can widely vary, and hiring an attorney to assist you throughout, may end up saving you money in the long run. Even the slightest error can cause an application to be denied or postponed, and having to reapply can double or triple your costs. Deportation occurs when the United States orders an individual to leave the country. Deportation, also known as removal, can be a frightening situation for the individual as well as their family. The laws surrounding deportation are complicated and hiring a deportation/removal attorney is highly advised. Experienced lawyers may be able to raise arguments against deportation, including any one of the following: cancellation of an order of removal, prosecutorial discretion, requests for asylum, arguments based on the U.N. Convention Against Torture, and appeal of order or removal. Your attorney will fight to help you remain in the country, and will be your best bet at staying where you are. Lawful permanent residents of the United States receive a photo identity card, that is green in color. As such, permanent resident cards are known informally as “Green cards”. Green card holders are immigrants who are given rights, privileges, and benefits to permanently and legally reside in the United States. Selecting the Right Immigration Law Firm Successful experience in your area of concern. Research the law firm’s reputation and the leading attorneys at the firm. Be sure that you find that their clients praise their quality of service, whether it’s employment based or individual/family based cases. If the attorney has been favorably rated by other legal professionals and by attorney rating organizations, it’s a good sign. Personal attention and respect. Some immigration law firms are run on high volume, and turn into infamous “paper mills” where productivity is given greater value over quality. For many types of immigration cases, representation is far more than just asking for a list of documents and filling out forms. Without an active, collaborative approach, and may you risk submitting documents that haven’t been properly reviewed and which are not up to standard. If poor documentation is initially submitted, while USCIS might give you a request for additional evidence to cure some defects, the request for evidence may not necessarily cover all the bases which USCIS may use to deny your case. Lack of personal attention is often a problem experienced when retaining a large law firm. Bigger and more expensive does not mean better. It’s best to retain a boutique immigration firm that handles manageable case loads. Attorneys with membership in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Although membership by itself does not ensure quality, an immigration attorney who is not a member of AILA lacks essential resources that no immigration attorney should be without, such as case assistance with AILA’s Liaison Department. Licensure. Be sure that the attorneys are licensed. There are consultants who offer legal services to the unsuspecting public in violation of the law. Only a licensed attorney is lawfully permitted to provide legal advice. A consultant is only permitted to fill forms, and not assess the quality of documentation, or present legal arguments in support of your eligibility for immigration benefits. Also, unlike a consultant, an attorney is accountable to the state bar, and has a lot more to lose by being dishonest and providing false hopes Attorneys that stay current. The attorneys at the law firm should stay on top of current developments in immigration law. For example, on June 1, 2008, the DOL changed processing from Chicago to Atlanta for PERM labor certifications. After this change took place, if an employer sponsoring a worker for a green card placed an internal notice prompting the reader to send information to the Chicago DOL address instead of Atlanta , and the DOL audited the labor certification case, there is a chance that the DOL would deny the case just for this seemingly small oversight. Staying current matters. A Passion for Immigration Law passion for immigration law is rooted in his own immigration story. Paul was born in Ecuador and later became a naturalized citizen of the United States. “My parents believed that the best chance we had for a better life was to immigrate to the United States. We wanted a chance to live the ‘American Dream’ that we had heard so much about. Therefore, my family settled in New York and we assimilated quickly. However, as assimilated as we were, we were still living unlawfully in this country. My father knew that the key to our survival was to obtain lawful status that would allow us to live freely in this country. Through an employment sponsorship, my father was able to obtain permanent resident status for our family. I knew at that moment that our life had changed because becoming a permanent resident of the United States would open so many different opportunities for my family. There and then I knew that I wanted to help other immigrants achieve the ‘American Dream’ that I was blessed to have been given.” From that point, every educational step that Paul took was with the motivation to become someone who could help others achieve their “American Dream” as he and his family had achieved theirs. Attending SUNY Oneonta, Paul was a political science and Spanish major. He was frequently on the Dean’s List, a member of the pre-law society and President of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. “I knew that my ultimate journey would be law school.” After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, Paul decided to help run his family owned business, Alvarez Cleaning Service, Inc. To date, he has served as an owner, manager, and bookkeeper for the company. In 2016 he was awarded Business Person of the Year by the Pleasantville Chamber of Commerce. While still working for his family business, Paul also applied for and was offered a paralegal position at Julie Mullaney Attorney at Law, a small law firm in Westchester, focusing on immigration law. “It was great experience. I was able to see what an immigration attorney did from A to Z, ranging from larger issues to day-to-day issues. And, most importantly, it re-solidified my desire to attend law school and become an immigration attorney.” As for choosing Pace Law – “it just made sense,” and had everything Paul was looking for – from location in Westchester, but close to New York City to a top-notch immigration law program featuring practical and classroom learning. While at Pace, Paul immersed himself in as much as he was able. “I was a member of the Pace Law Advocacy Honor Board as the Director of Internal Competitions; I participated in every oral advocacy competition that I was able – from immigration, to criminal law, to sports arbitration. I was the president and one of the founding members of the Immigration Law Student Organization, Vice-President of the Public Interest Law Student Organization and the Vice President of the Latin American Law Students Association, a representative for BARBRI, and Admissions Ambassador and Mentor, part of the Faculty-Student band, and player on the Pace intramural soccer team. I looked at every opportunity as a way to broaden my perspective and meet new people. And, I was fortunate to have so many opportunities.” Significantly, while Paul was at Pace he was a student attorney with the Pace Criminal Justice Clinic and the Pace Immigration Justice Clinic. He gained practical, hands-on, real-life, attorney experience through both of these opportunities. “I was doing things in these Clinics that most law students experience for the first time only as admitted attorneys. It was fascinating.” His three most influential professors in law school were Vanessa Merton, David Dorfman and Lou Fasulo because each one of them taught him so many important lessons on becoming a zealous attorney that he will carry on for the rest of his career. Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Lawyer to Represent You As anyone that’s gone through the process will tell you, navigating any area of immigration law is not an endeavor you’d want to go through alone. There is an extensive paperwork process that goes along with immigration that even natural-born U.S. citizens would struggle with, let alone immigrants from other countries for whom English is not their first language. A Good Immigration Lawyer Avoids Mistakes Filing the correct paperwork is an important part of the processes of acquiring a visa, getting a loved on residence in the United States, and finalizing your marriage to an immigrant, among other procedures. This paperwork is usually extensive and complicated, and without the help of an expert, there are lots of opportunities to make mistakes that sink your entire application permanently They Are Seasoned by Experience One of the most important benefits that hiring an immigration lawyer can offer is less tangible than the others. The help of an expert that has experience making immigrants’ dreams into realities cannot be understated Immigration Attorneys Can Maneuver the Permits and Regulations A good immigration lawyer is an expert on all the procedural maneuvers necessary to get you where you want to be. Whether that’s obtaining work permit in the United States, acquiring permanent residency or full U.S. citizenship, an expert immigration attorney is a veritable expert on what you need to make that happen They Can Explain Your Options to You No matter what you’re situation is, you have options. Your expert immigration attorney can lay out these options in front of you, making sure you understand the full scope of your circumstances. Whether you’re facing deportation or something else, your situation is likely very sensitive, and urgent. Isn’t it important that you understand those options that you can take moving forward?