In this month’s article, we will briefly explore when and why you should work with an attorney when filing your immigration case. Continue reading for my recommendations based on years of client experiences!
I often come across clients who feel that hiring an attorney to handle an immigration case is unnecessary because it “just involves filling out forms.” If this was truly the case, then there would not be a need for immigration attorneys. The truth is that an immigration attorney’s true value is not completing forms but rather in the wealth of experience they bring to your case. Based on their experience, they can properly advise you of potential pitfalls and save you a lot of time and frustration throughout the filing process. Also, the peace of mind of knowing that you have a professional that is invested in your best interest and wants to help you win your case is priceless!
Unfortunately, clients usually contact me after the damage has been done or their case is denied. Which in turn requires more time, effort, and money to resolve the issue. Over the years, I have identified several crucial points at which an attorney’s involvement could have made all the difference in the world for the client’s case. The most obvious point is at the beginning of the case (smile). Many times, individuals rely on the experiences of family or friends, but this can be risky in this ever-changing field of immigration law. Therefore, as soon as you decide that you would like to apply for an immigration benefit for yourself (i.e. citizenship) or a loved one (i.e. green card petition) you should meet with an attorney. He or she will review your specific situation and advise you on the process and costs involved. Even if you decide not to hire an attorney, at least you will have the accurate information necessary to make an informed decision.
If you decide to handle the case yourself, there are still instances in which you should get an attorney involved. For instance, when you receive a request for more evidence (RFE) or a notice of intent to deny (NOID). These are key points at which the USCIS immigration office is giving you an opportunity to address a potential issue that could result in a negative outcome. However, what may seem like a simple request for documents to you could be decoded by an experienced attorney who can uncover the underlying issues really at hand.
Seeking wise legal counsel at this point will ensure that you adequately respond to the request with the appropriate and relevant evidence. This is especially true when responding to a NOID because this is your only opportunity to avoid a denial or unnecessary appeal. At this stage, the cost of hiring an attorney to represent or guide you is well worth it when faced with a potential denial or deportation. Despite this fact, an attorney is usually contacted after the case has been denied.
Fortunately, the additional time, effort, stress, and money involved in an appeal, refiling, or deportation defense can be avoided by hiring an attorney to guide you through the process at any point prior to the denial. If you or someone you know need immigration representation or counsel, please click here to book a consultation.