If you are looking to immigrate to the United States, ask for asylum, file a petition with USCIS or apply for a change of status, your first step is to find the best immigration lawyer for your case. Your lawyer will be your guide to the complicated process.
Step 1: Price is Not Your Most Important Factor
Create a contact list of local immigration lawyers. Contact each one to schedule a consultation meeting. Having an immigration lawyer is not just a checkmark. You need a competent immigration lawyer to help you win, not just put his/her name on the forms. You want to meet with them to understand what they offer and how they work with their clients. This will also offer you the opportunity to gauge their experience and abilities. It is tempting to only look at the price while evaluating value. Usually, a cheaper lawyer will provide cheaper service. There are many different factors that go into determining the particular lawyer’s legal fees. This includes: reputation, skills, knowledge, experience, prior results, geographical area and most importantly – the amount of dedication and attention given to each client. None of these factors are determinative. For example, a lawyer may be old and experienced, but may dedicate less time and attention to each case. Or a lawyer may have a good reputation, but not handle your specific case himself or herself, but rather assign it to another lawyer in the firm. Therefore, you need to weigh all of the factors before making the decision. Resist that urge as it will cost more if you need to reapply for your visa.
Step 2: Ask for Recommendations and Read Reviews
If you know someone who has immigrated to the United States before, get in contact with them. Immigration lawyer Virginia has a large selection, so it is helpful to narrow down your choices if you have the option. A recommended lawyer is most likely a successful one. If you do not know someone to ask for recommenations, read online reviews.
Step 3: Treat the Consultation as a Job Interview
Ask for referrals during your consultation. Your potential lawyer should understand they need to develop trust with you. If you do not feel comfortable asking directly, include the request in your follow-up thank you email to them. Consider it a red flag if your referral request is denied or brushed off. You want a lawyer who is forthcoming with you and understands you are simply doing your due diligence.
Step 4: Know Your Costs Upfront
Your ideal immigration lawyer will have experience. A benefit of a seasoned professional is they are aware of precisely how much time a standard case will require of them and their team. Ask what their payment options are. Do they only bill hourly? Do they offer a flat rate? If you have a standard case, it might be beneficial to choose the flat rate option to prevent unknown costs in the future.
Step 5: Stay Organized
Inquire about your lawyer’s organization system. While many lawyers do not regularly use electronic services, they may if you request it. Use a private email account and not a free service provider, such as Gmail or Yahoo, for your correspondence and file organization. Free email services generate revenue from scanning your material to create targeted ads for you within their platform. It is always best to ensure your information is kept private. Also sign-up for an electronic signature service, such as DocuSign, so you can easily and quickly return paperwork to your lawyer.
Step 6: Communication is Key
If English is not your first language, research lawyers who work in your native language. Many offices have employees who are bilingual and will assist in meetings. You want to fully grasp any legal language that is a part of your case.
Step 7: This Is Just the Beginning
Hopefully, obtaining your initial visa is only the first step in your relationship with the United States and your immigration lawyer. If you are planning to start a business or apply for a green card, your lawyer will become your confidante and an integral part of your process.
Step 8: How to Contact the Best Immigration Lawyer in Virginia
Our blog is intended to be a helpful resource. It is not intended to be official legal advice. Your chosen lawyer will be your official guide in your immigration process and will be able to answer any questions you have.
It is important to get in touch with a good immigration lawyer in the United States as early as possible to avoid potential problems and to plan the best immigration strategy for you and your family. Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have provided immigration help to many immigrants and their families.
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