Situations where the immigration lawyer's help is absolutely necessary
Immigration law is one of the most challenging and complex areas of law in the United States. Besides knowledge and professionalism, an attorney who chose this field has to be able to respond to changes in the applicant's life quickly, as well as to legislative modifications that occur almost every month.
Most people hire immigration attorneys when they need assistance submitting an application for immigration documentation. And this is the right thing to do, especially when the applicant is unable to fully understand the various requirements under immigration law.
In order to not spend a lot of money, some immigrants decide to fill out the forms and track their cases independently. This does work periodically, however, having a lawyer or at least consulting with one significantly increases the chances for success. Although there are rare occasions where the cases are successfully completed without the help of an attorney, there is still a high percentage of cases where the applicant's decision to forego services of a lawyer results in subsequent serious problems and losses.
Cases when hiring an immigration lawyer is absolutely necessary
Applicant has been convicted of a crime. Nearly all USCIS forms ask whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime. The applicant must disclose their entire criminal record, even for charges that were dropped or expunged. It is usually not necessary to hire a criminal lawyer; immigration lawyers always understand how immigration and criminal law overlap.
Prior immigration applications have been denied. An immigration lawyer will be able to determine why the application was denied. They can also tell if it is possible to appeal the application or re-apply later in the future.
The person has previously been deported or excluded from entry into the US Sometimes deportation or exclusion means that the person is permanently barred from future applications. An immigration attorney can provide advice on the effects of deportation and exclusion.
An applicant has a certain medical condition. Some, but not all medical conditions may prevent a person from obtaining entry into the US (such as some communicable diseases).
An applicant is waiting an unreasonably long time during the application process. Immigration lawyers are familiar with application processes, including deadlines and waiting times. A lawyer can sometimes help the applicant obtain expedited or rush processing.
The applicant is seeking an employment-based visa, but their prospective employer is not assisting with immigration issues. Processing for employment-based visas can be complicated. An immigration lawyer can help ensure that future employers are fulfilling their obligations to future immigrant workers.
The applicant's marriage to a US citizen was terminated before they were able to have conditions removed on their permanent resident status. Visa applications based on marriages are usually filed jointly. If the marriage has been terminated due to divorce or death, it can be particularly difficult to prove that the marriage was not fraudulent.
An applicant is seeking to adjust their permanent resident status but was recently divorced and married to a different US citizen. The main issue here is that the first marriage may be suspected to be a scam. An immigration lawyer may be necessary to prove that the first marriage was legitimate.
A person is immigrating to the US with their family and their child might reach age 21 before permanent resident status is granted. Eligibility for permanent resident status is different for children under the age of 21. A lawyer can help determine the best method of filing for children of applicants.
The applicant has begun the application process but does not know what to do next. At times USCIS may request additional paperwork or documentation to support an applicant's claim. Working with an attorney from the beginning of the process can help prevent delays and may even make the process faster.
Immigration matters can often be complex and difficult to understand. Many applications take several months or even years to complete. If you have any issues at all with immigration laws or procedures, an immigration lawyer can be of much help. Working with an attorney can save you much time and frustration in trying to sort out the different requirements.
In addition, if you are having a court hearing on your case, it is important to hire an attorney to competently represent your interests.
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