Top 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Immigration Lawyer

If you are looking for an immigration lawyer to help you with your work visa or U.S. citizenship, you will certainly want to make sure that you choose the right legal professional.  Since you will be paying this lawyer to help you prepare to join the U.S. workforce or even become a citizen, choosing the right one has a great deal weighing on the decision.  


If you are unsure of where to begin in looking for a decent immigration lawyer, start your search by visiting the online Immigration websites of your country of origin.  There, you will find discussion, reviews and recommendations from people who have previously used the lawyers that specialize in helping people from your home country and in your situation.


Once you’ve found your lawyer, ask for an in-person consultation.  Any good lawyer will provide you with an initial meeting free of charge.  Unless the lawyer you’ve picked in in another state, be suspicious of a lawyer who says he or she will take on your case without meeting you and talking to you first.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Lawyer


In your initial consultation, here are the questions you’ll need to ask to make the right decision:


1. Can you provide me with references of your past cases?  May I call or contact these references for more information?

2. Are you a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association?  If so, can you provide proof?

3. Can you provide me with a breakdown of your fees?

4. Can you provide me with your credentials?  Can you provide me a list of your education and certifications?

5. Have you ever received disciplinary action?  If so, can you provide me more details of the situation?


Get in the Know


It also helps if you first make yourself knowledgeable with the particular visa or green card document you are applying for.  Visit your local library or bookstore and do some reading, so you at least know whether the lawyer is giving you good advice or not.  Although uncommon, some lawyers will overcharge you if it’s plain to them that you have no idea what you should be paying for the services they offer. 

Be Aware of the Costs Involved


Be aware before you begin that a U.S. work visa obtained through a lawyer will set you back several thousand dollars; a Green Card can cost you anything from $8,000-$20,000, depending on the reputation and quality of your lawyer.  A lawyer who charges you substantially more or less than these basic figures is up to no good.

How to Choose


Choosing the right immigration lawyer can mean the difference between whether or not you are able to stay in the country.  The best way to choose the right one is to set up interviews with a short list.  Choose three or four lawyers, meet with each one, and then ask them the above questions.  This will help you narrow down your options for immigration lawyers so that you can choose the right one, and ensure that your case will be handled in the most professional manner.

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