Five Questions to Ask Your US Immigration Lawyer
Meeting with an immigration attorney to discuss your immigration and visa options is often the best way to begin the entire process. When you do meet with a lawyer for the first time, make sure you are prepared to ask questions that will help you decide whether they are best fit to represent your case. We have compiled the top 5 questions we believe will assist you in this process.
- What is your experience with cases like mine? Immigration law covers a variety of cases, from deportation and removal cases, to employment-based visas and green cards. By talking to your lawyer and ensuring they have ample experience and expertise in cases like yours, you can feel more confident that they will know how to guide you. If a lawyer specializes in immigration, you are on the right track. You may also want to ask for references from former clients to get a deeper understanding of how the lawyer has worked in the past.
- What are the chances of success with my case, and what are the risks we may face? While an attorney cannot guarantee you will have success, they should be able to tell you based on past cases they have handled what your chances may be. The immigration process can be complicated, and by asking these questions you can get a sense for what it will entail, how past cases have proceeded, and make an educated decision from what you have learned.
- Who will be working on my case and representing me? A firm may be made up of multiple lawyers, consultants, and other staff members. Sometimes, the lawyer you saw in an ad will not be the exact one representing you. If another person from a large firm is representing you, make sure they have the same qualifications. You want to make sure your case will be carried out by someone you trust, which may be an individual or the whole team.
- What are the costs? You should know before your first meeting what an attorney charges for the initial consultation, or if they charge at all. After you pay this amount, it is important to ask at the first meeting what the cost will be for the remainder of legal services. Sometimes your consultation fee will be credited toward the overall cost of hiring a lawyer. Make sure the lawyer breaks down the fees for all services they provide, and that they are clear and not vague about how much they charge.
- How long will the case take and how will you communicate with me throughout? Processing times vary on a case to case basis, and sometimes immigration cases take months or years to come to a finish. Though, due to these varied processing times, a lawyer cannot give you an exact amount of time your case will take, they may be able to give you an estimate based on past cases they have handled. What is important to know is that your attorney will be available to you throughout the process, to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.