You are under no obligation to seek the help of a lawyer during your application for a green card or immigration visa. For many people, their case is straightforward enough and their eligibility clearly defined. If there are no crimes on your record or negative experiences with immigration authorities, you can likely proceed in your application process without an attorney.
However, there are many instances in which the expertise of immigration attorneys is especially needed. By hiring an attorney, you can save yourself a lot of frustration, time, and money.
Immigration law is well-known for being complicated. If you’re struggling with your immigration application and wondering if an attorney might be beneficial for you, here are some signs that you might benefit from help:
1. Immigration Attorneys Can Help if You Can’t Figure Out Your Options
Maybe you’re a skilled worker looking for employment. Or perhaps you’re an employer hoping to hire such a person. Though a worker can often qualify for a type of green card or visa, it’s often confusing to know which option is going to be the fastest or the best in the long run.
Immigration attorneys can help an employer or a worker determine which visa best fits the worker’s qualifications and the employer’s needs.
There can be similar issues that arise when it comes to family-related visa situations. For example, an engaged person might be confronted with the choice of either entering the U.S. on an immigrant visa with an immediate right to a green card, or marrying first.
A K-1 fiance visa is also an option. Which one is faster? Which one is more advantageous? An immigration court attorney can help you decide.
2. If You’re An Employer Considering Hiring Foreign-Born Workers
Many busy business owners don’t have the time to spend on figuring out all the details surrounding immigration law. If you’re trying to sponsor a worker for a green card, this requires completing a labor certification process, a requirement that many employers aren’t aware of.
If you place advertisements for the job, the process is complicated since only certain types of ads are legally acceptable and must contain very specific language. It’s easy to get the time frames and deadlines confused for those who aren’t educated in immigration law.
Employers also find it difficult to make sense of the complicated PERM application. There’s no room for error when filling out the necessary Form 9089.
Even the smallest mistake can result in a denial. If you find yourself in the position of wanting to hire a foreign-born worker, having the knowledge of an immigration attorney can save you a lot of trouble.
3. If You Are Inadmissible
One of the most common legal issues that would-be immigrants face is the claim made by the USCIS that they are “inadmissible”. This rejection can come as the result of a crime, a financial instability that is likely to lead to a public charge, or due to lying to the U.S. government.
If you have any similar issues that might hurt your chances of admittance, it’s best to seek legal expertise before beginning the application process.
4. If You’re Overwhelmed by Paperwork
There are lengthy, detailed instructions that accompany even the simplest of U.S. immigration applications. These applications also come with lots of additional forms to fill out and documents that need to be gathered. If you make even one mistake, they can be delayed, returned, or rejected altogether.
Experienced immigration attorneys deal with this paperwork countless times over and they have the knowledge on how to prepare the applications without a hitch. Many of them also have computer programs that allow them to enter your information so that the forms are completed in a matter of minutes without error.
5. You’ve Been Dealing With Delays
Another one of the most reasons why people seek lawyers is due to delays they’re facing with the USCIS or the consulate in approving their application. The reasons for this might be due more to a bureaucracy issue than the actual law.
For example, perhaps you’re attempting to move from one city to another and so you fill out that required application and file for the green card only to find that your application has become lost somewhere along the way. It’s common for delays to occur at the USCIS Service Centers.
And though a lawyer may not have a lot of power in this type of situation, they do tend to have more access to the right people to inquire about these delays.
Don’t Rely on the USCIS Information Officers
As you go through this process, a word to the wise: don’t rely on any advice given to you by the USCIS information officers beyond any information on basic procedural advice (including information about fees or where to file certain applications).
Employees of USCIS are not experts. If any of their staff gives you the wrong advice along the way, be aware that your application won’t be treated with sympathy. Your best bet is going to be seeking the professional, expert advice of an immigration attorney.
Discover Other Useful Advice
Hopefully, this article has shed some insight into whether or not an immigration attorney can be of service to you either as an employer or someone seeking a visa. You can always contact various immigration attorneys and ask if they offer a free consultation to learn more about their services and expertise.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our other helpful resources and tips for other areas of your life.