If you’re reading this, you may be asking yourself, “Do I need a lawyer?”
The answer is likely “yes.” Your livelihood in the United States is too important to leave any court ruling to chance.
When unexpected troubles arise concerning your right to live and work in the United States, you may wonder what steps you can take to ensure your rights are protected and you receive fair consideration. Whether you are looking for help sponsoring a family member’s green card application, want to defend yourself from deportation, or are ready to pursue naturalization, an experienced and compassionate immigration attorney can make all the difference.
The United States immigration and naturalization process can be confusing, intricate and lengthy. This can translate into considerable worry, stress and fear for you and your loved ones.
There are many reasons why you should consult with an attorney at a respected immigration law firm. The benefits certainly outweigh the risks when the consequences of failure could be disastrous.
Below, we break down some of the reasons why you should schedule a consultation with a lawyer today. It’s always important to discuss your immigration questions, concerns and needs. Only someone certified and trained to navigate the United States legal system can provide you with the support you require when immigration challenges occur. The attorneys at Nanthaveth & Associates are prepared to help, whatever fight you or your loved ones may face.
Why Schedule a Free Immigration Consultation?
Continue reading for five important reasons to schedule a free consultation with Nanthaveth & Associates.
1. Most immigration law firms offer free consultations.
You may be wondering if you’ll be expected to pay for a consult with an expert immigration attorney. The good news is that most respectable law firms provide free initial consults with an attorney free-of-charge. Scheduling a free consultation will cost you nothing, yet you will learn crucial information about your situation, including whether or not a lawyer is necessary. Nanthaveth & Associates offers free 30-minute consultations to anyone seeking advice or guidance regarding their immigration concerns.
2. Immigration attorneys deeply understand the United States legal system.
Immigration attorneys specialize in helping immigrants and their families secure the right to live and work in the United States. They know the system better than anyone and can provide expert guidance regarding your situation. Talking to a lawyer skilled in immigration law, even for a short time, is essential. You’ll gain priceless insight into processes such as green card applications, deportation hearings, and fiancé(e) visas.
3. You can review your case and materials with a trained professional.
Remember to bring any and all materials regarding your case to your free consultation. This would include any legal paperwork or affidavits, calendars or court dates, as well as any other physical records or items of importance to your situation. The more information you can provide regarding your concerns, the better an expert immigration attorney will be able to help you.
4. You’ll learn your options, including expected costs.
Until you talk to a trained attorney certified by your state’s bar association, you may not be aware of every option available to you. If you do not consult an immigration attorney, you may be putting your future in jeopardy. During your discussion, you’ll also receive a cost estimate for the lawyer’s services. These will include all estimated costs if you hire the law firm to provide informed counsel and protect your rights. Remember, expect to pay more for experienced, courteous immigration attorneys with successful case histories.
5. You’ll make an action plan.
When you are facing a tough legal battle as an immigrant or lawful permanent resident (LPR), the challenges can seem insurmountable and the consequences of failure dire. Thus, your first step should be to schedule a free consultation with a practiced lawyer specializing in immigration law. You’ll learn how to move forward with the greatest likelihood of success during your case. Expect to take notes during your free consultation. You can refer to these later, especially if you are considering several lawyers or law firms.
Working With an Immigration Lawyer Versus Working On Your Own
For most people, the sensible choice is to work with an immigration attorney on any immigration case. That’s because U.S. immigration law can be incredibly complicated – and because laws can change quickly, with very little notice. And even when the laws themselves don’t change, certain departments of the government may hand down new guidance without any notice, forcing immigration agencies to change the way they do things. An attorney’s job is to stay on top of these matters so they can provide the best possible representation to their clients; that means your attorney will have access to the most recent legislation, rules and procedures when you petition the U.S. government for any type of immigration benefit.
What Happens During Your Free Immigration Consultation?
During your free consultation with an attorney, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. The lawyer you speak with can provide you with the case-specific legal advice you need to start moving forward with your case, whether you’re dealing with issues related to:
- Family immigration
- Green cards (including green card marriage)
- Citizenship and naturalization
- Immigration appeals
- Business immigration
Here’s a closer look at how a free immigration consultation can help you in each area of immigration law.
Family immigration – the process of sponsoring immediate family members to come to the United States – can be incredibly complicated. Different family members have different wait times for visas or green cards, whether the sponsor is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident will impact family members’ immigration processes, and a variety of other issues combine, so often, it’s simpler to work with an immigration attorney.
Obtaining a green card is an essential step on the path to U.S. citizenship. Your immigration attorney can fill out and file your green card petition, whether you are obtaining a green card through marriage, employment or familial relationships. If you aren’t eligible for a green card, your attorney can explain the pathways to citizenship that are currently available to you, which may include beginning with a visa.
The U.S. government is currently accepting new DACA petitions and allowing previous DACA recipients to renew their status. Your immigration attorney can help you file, whether it’s your first time or you’re extending your protections.
Citizenship and Naturalization
Your immigration attorney can help you apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization. Naturalization is a lengthy process, typically requiring you to hold a green card for a certain amount of time before applying. Your attorney can help you prepare by filling out and filing the appropriate forms, providing supporting documentation, and helping you prepare for your immigration interview and civics test.
On the 2020 version of the test, you must answer 12 of 20 questions correctly. On the 2008 version, you must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly.
The immigration official handling your eligibility interview will also gauge your ability to speak and understand English. You must also read out loud one of three sentences correctly, which will demonstrate to the official that you are able to read in English. Additionally, you must write one out of three sentences correctly to demonstrate your ability to write in English.
Sometimes immigration judges and other immigration officials make decisions that people disagree with. If that happens to you, you may wish to hire an immigration attorney to appeal an unfavorable decision. Your attorney can represent you at hearings or to the Board of Immigration Appeals when necessary.
Business immigration to the United States is notoriously complex, and most companies that need to hire foreign workers choose to work with an immigration attorney. When you call for an immigration consultation, let the attorney you speak with know that you’re interested in business immigration and sponsoring immigrants to work for your company. He or she will then ask several questions to determine which types of visas will be most appropriate for your organization, whether you need E, H, O or P nonimmigrant status for your workers. Your attorney can also ensure that you remain compliant with the U.S. Department of Labor’s stringent requirements so you’re able to maintain your workforce.
Should You Consult With a Lawyer if You’re Thinking About Applying for a Green Card?
You have the right to talk to an attorney at any time about getting a green card – or about anything else, for that matter (including visas, deportation defense and DACA applications). Regardless of the reason you’re applying for a green card, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about your situation.
For example, if you’re applying for a green card based on your marriage to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, your attorney can help you fill out and file the right forms. Your attorney can also help you prepare for your immigration interview, determine what type of supporting documentation to send to USCIS, and more.
Is it Worth Getting an Immigration Lawyer?
In most cases, people find that getting an immigration lawyer is absolutely worth it. Your attorney will know exactly what type of immigration benefits are available to you, how to apply for them, and what the requirements are for each. Working with an attorney can save you a significant amount of time and money – both of which you could be spending on other things. If you take only one piece of advice from this article, let it be this: You should at least get a free consultation from an immigration attorney. Even if you don’t end up hiring that attorney, you’ll walk away knowing more about your options than you did before.
What Should You Ask During a Free Consultation With an Austin Immigration Lawyer?
You should, first and foremost, ask questions about your specific situation. If you’re thinking about hiring the attorney, you’ll also want to ask:
- How much of your practice is focused on immigration? It’s okay to work with lawyers who do other things, but you do need to know that the more an attorney practices immigration law, the more familiar he or she is with it.
- Have you handled cases similar to mine? You definitely want to know that the attorney you choose has experience with cases like yours.
- How long have you been practicing immigration law? Experience is definitely desirable when you’re hiring an attorney – and though there are brand-new lawyers who are very good at what they do, working with an experienced attorney can give you more peace of mind.
- What’s the best strategy for my case? Although no attorney can guarantee the outcome of a case (and if you find one who does, you should run!), a good lawyer will be able to tell you what kinds of actions you can take together to get the best possible outcome.
Do You Need a Free Immigration Consultation?
If you’re considering immigrating to the United States or sponsoring an immigrant, we’re here to help. Call our office right now to set up your completely free, no-strings-attached consultation with an experienced, caring and committed Austin immigration attorney.
About Nanthaveth & Associates:
Nanthaveth & Associates, PLLC is a trusted immigration law firm located in Austin, Texas. Immigration law experts at Nanthaveth and Associates are prepared to provide legal counsel for businesses, families and individuals in the areas of green cards, deportation, adjustment of status, work visas and investor visa applications, family-sponsored immigration, employer compliance, self-petitions, permanent residence, naturalization, waivers, appeals, foreign adoptions, mediation and more.
For Austin, TX immigration help call Nanthaveth & Associates at 512.371.9000.