Why Should I Hire an Immigration Attorney

By: Raad Ahmed

Throughout the immigration process, there are many reasons to hire an attorney. Not only is a lawyer likely to give you a better chance at achieving your goals; you might achieve them more quickly with a lawyer as well. Here are some of the pitfalls that a good immigration attorney can help you avoid.  Let’s say you’re seeking to immigrate via a familial sponsor, which is a very common route to take. Once you’ve settled on a sponsor, they’ll need to file an immigrant visa petition, which must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The sponsor must further be able to prove that he or she has sufficient resources to support the applicant, by filing an Affidavit of Support.

So, right off the bat we’ve got two steps that are both complex and crucial enough to make it advisable to hire an attorney. Getting past the USCIS and satisfying the income requirements can prove quite daunting—even putting aside the need for accurate legal paperwork. Immigration law is complicated, ever-changing, and often difficult for civilians to grasp.

Here’s a recent development in the immigration realm: The defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act has meant that people in same-sex marriages now have the same right to apply for visas as any married couple. Immigration lawyers are paid to keep abreast of developments like these, and having access to such information can mean the difference between getting a visa and being denied (but if you think you’re as well-versed in immigration law as an immigration attorney, go ahead and strike out on your own!).

Applying for a visa can be disheartening. The wait times for visa numbers can stretch into years or even decades. To make sure your application goes through without a hitch, there’s no substitute for talking to a good immigration lawyer. An attorney who has been through the process many times can often help avoid denials or unnecessary delays, and may be able to expedite the application in ways you wouldn’t otherwise have considered. Again, immigration lawyers don’t just help your application get approved; sometimes they can also get it approved more quickly. Depending on why you are seeking to immigrate to the U.S., this can be hugely important.

Even after you have a green card, it’s often helpful to have a relationship with a good attorney. For example, if you, as a Lawful Permanent Resident, violate the law even unknowingly, you could be removed from the country. Or, should you decide to leave the country on your own, you could be barred from reentering for years. Moreover, once a removal or a bar to readmission is put in place, you’ll have to comply with all applicable laws and wait times governing readmission, and a lawyer can lay out those important checkpoints for you in plain language.

It’s just a good idea to talk to an immigration attorney to make sure you stay in compliance with all applicable regulations. While it is possible to get through the process alone, it’s easy to lose track of the details if you do.#ImmigrationAttorney

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