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Every year, thousands of immigrants move to the United States. There are many different ways to immigrate, including getting an employment or study visa, immigrating to live with family members, or seeking refugee from your home country. There are also many classifications of immigration. Temporary visitors are only allowed in the country for a set period of time, ranging from months to years. Another immigration involves becoming a permanent resident. Each process uses a different system. No matter which method you choose, there are legal complications, including plenty of documents and paperwork which must be submitted. One of the ways to make the process easier is by hiring an immigration attorney.
Immigration attorneys not only help immigrants who want to move to the United States but also immigrants who already live in the United States and are being threatened with deportation. There are many ways an immigration attorney can assist you, including providing legal advice, fighting deportation claims, and representing you in court.
Providing Pro Bono Legal Counsel
Many immigrants hire an attorney before they even begin the immigration process. Legally immigrating to the United States is a difficult process, no matter how you plan to immigrate. In many situations, such as moving for school or work, there are only a limited number of visas that go out each year. This makes the process much more competitive. It also increases the need to get everything right the first time you submit your application. Some immigrants spend months filling out forms and preparing for interviews, only to get rejected because of an error in the filing. In many cases, the only way to recover is to start the process from the beginning.
Working with an immigration lawyer ensures everything is correctly submitted. Immigration lawyers can answer any questions you have about the process and even fill out certain documents on your behalf. An immigration lawyer can also advise alternative paths of immigration or use their legal knowledge to speed up the process.
Many law firms are willing to provide free legal consultation. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your proceedings with the lawyer before agreeing to make any payments. Even if you do not intend to hire an attorney, you can still learn more about the process during a consultation. This is especially helpful if you are not a native English speaker. Immigration attorneys frequently speak multiple languages or hire translators to make sure all your questions are answered in a way you understand.
Not all immigration cases involving moving to the United States. If you are interested in investing in a United States business, you must apply for a special business visa. Applying for a business visa requires a general understanding of the immigration process, even if you do not intend to live in the United States. An immigration attorney can walk you through the paperwork and help you gather all the necessary documents relating to your business. They can also provide legal counsel so you know you are paying all the necessary fees and taxes, both in the United States and your home country.
Making an Asylum Claim
One of the ways you can immigrate to the United States is by requesting asylum status. Asylum status is available to any individual who is in danger of being persecuted based on several factors, including race, religion, or political stances. In 2020 alone, there were over one million new asylum claims.
In order to get asylum, you must be able to prove you are in danger if you cannot immigrate. In addition to submitting immigration documents and completing all the paperwork, you must also provide testimony during an interview. Because there are so many asylum claims each year, it is difficult to get a meeting. Even if you get a meeting, your story is heavily scrutinized. If there is any doubt about your claims, your asylum request may be denied.
If you hire an immigration attorney, not only will he or she prepare you for the interview process, but he or she can also gather additional evidence to prove your claims. Your immigration attorney can also testify on your behalf, using doctor reports, witness testimony, photographs, videos, and other evidence to prove you are in danger.
There are many immigration lawyers who only specialize in deportation cases. Deportation cases are some of the most complex legal cases because of the high stakes involved in the case. If you do not submit a proper motion to challenge the case, you may not even be able to make an appeal. You only have a small window to make an appeal, which also limits the amount of time to gather evidence to fight the case.
Another challenge with deportation cases is challenging state attorneys. Without an immigration attorney, it is almost impossible to win a deportation case. Your attorney knows how to gather evidence and prepare a legal defense. He or she also knows different legal avenues to pursue to delay your deportation, or alternative immigration paths so you can stay in the country.
Charged with a Crime
If you already immigrated to the United States and are charged with a crime not relating to your immigration, you may still need an immigration attorney. When you immigrate to the United States, there are certain conditions you must follow, based on your reason for immigration. Depending on the nature of the crime, you may be in danger of losing your immigration status. If you are charged with a crime, you are strongly advised to reach out to an immigration attorney to determine whether the charge will affect your immigration status.
Hiring an Immigration Attorney
The cost for an immigration attorney greatly changes based on your needs. If you need assistance with documents, the process costs on average between $300 to $1,000. Business visas are typically more complex, costing between $1,500 and $5,000. Asylum claims cost between $1,000 and $5,000, while deportation cases are between $2,500 and $15,000.
It may seem expensive, but many law firms take immigration cases pro bono. There are also numerous nonprofit groups dedicated to providing financial assistance for immigrants. You can look for financial assistance through the National Immigration Legal Services Directory. There is also a database to help immigrants connect with pro bono attorneys. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services directory also includes resources to help find accredited immigration attorneys.