Questions to Ask an Immigration Lawyer at a Consultation

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A consultation with an immigration lawyer does two things:

First, it helps you learn about immigration law, your rights, and your options. Second, a consultation with an immigration lawyer is your introduction to the lawyer and their law firm. You can get to know them and whether they are the right lawyer to handle your case.

To get the most out of your immigration attorney consultation, you need to know what questions to ask.

Your attorney will start by asking you to talk about your situation and what brings you to contact a lawyer. They will ask for details about your specific and personal situation to best evaluate your options and case and answer all your legal questions. The attorney will talk about the law, how they can represent you and the best route to take. Then, you will be welcome to ask questions.

Here are ten questions to ask an immigration lawyer at your consultation:

10 Questions for Your Immigration Law Consultation

     1. Can you tell me about my case?

You need to know if you have a path to reach your immigration goals. An immigration lawyer should be able to learn about your situation and evaluate it. There may be specific issues that require research. But in general, the lawyer should be versed in immigration law and able to give you a quick summary of whether your case will likely succeed. The advice from an immigration lawyer during a consultation can help prevent you from taking the wrong steps, making fatal mistakes, and/or taking the route that does not best fit your situation. Your immigration journey is essential; you should take every opportunity to ensure success.

     2. What is the process for a case like mine?

There are often many steps in an immigration case. You need to know what to expect. Having a clear understanding of the case process can help you plan. It can help you form realistic expectations for what is to come.

     3. How long will my case take?

It may be impossible to know for sure how long a case might take. Immigration laws can change quickly, and sometimes, application processing times vary and are unknown.

However, at a consultation, a lawyer can give you an idea of how long your case may take based on the lawyer’s experience with many filings. They can talk about how long similar cases they have handled took for those clients and help you set realistic expectations. Also, ask about things that you can do to complete the process as quickly as possible, and in some cases, an expedited request could be possible. At the consultation, the immigration lawyer can help you assess that.

     4. Why do cases like mine get denied?

When you understand why cases are not successful, you can take steps to avoid these problems. The lawyer can talk about things specific to your situation that you can do to minimize the possibility of a bad case result.

     5. Are there other things that I should know?

You rely on your lawyer for their insight. Your lawyer can give you information that you may have yet to consider. Ask what others in your situation wished they had known at the start of their cases. These insights can help you proceed.

     6. What is your experience in immigration law?

You need to know if the lawyer can handle your case. They should be skilled and experienced in immigration law. That means studying immigration law and practicing it.

Immigration law is complex. Procedures and standards can change quickly. Learning about the lawyer’s experience can help you decide if they are qualified to meet your needs.

Ask them if they have handled cases like yours. See if the law firm focuses on immigration law and how they are qualified to handle your case.

     7. If you handle my case, what is our plan?

A qualified immigration lawyer can create a case plan and strategy. They should know the things that need to happen, and they will strategize on how to handle your case.

There may be more than one possible path for your situation, and a lawyer should be able to evaluate and prioritize your goals and suggest the best plan and strategy personalized to your situation.

     8. Are you a member of the AILA?

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a voluntary bar association with 16,000 members throughout the United States. The AILA advocates for sound immigration policy. It provides education and support for practicing immigration lawyers.

Having an AILA member lawyer means having counsel with the resources to capably serve immigration clients.

     9. Who will represent me?

Your immigration case is one of the most significant things you will ever do. It is the opportunity to be able to live in the United States legally and safely. You need to know exactly who you will be working with, and it is important to meet your team personally.

In addition to meeting your lawyer, you should ask if there are others on the team that you will regularly communicate with. Knowing your team personally helps everyone – your legal team can communicate with you more effectively. Discuss whether you will stay in touch by phone, email, video calls, or in another way. Clarify what language you prefer for communication.

     10. How much do you charge?

You need an understanding of how much your legal representation will cost. A lawyer may not be able to give you an exact cost without a thorough consultation because they may not know how much will be involved or what may arise in the case.

Upon evaluation at the consultation, the lawyer should give you a clear understanding of what they charge and how they bill for services. They can explain potential costs and what things may influence the cost of legal services.

What Documents Should I Bring to a Consultation With an Immigration Lawyer?

When you have your legal consultation, it is helpful to bring any important documents. Include your passport, entry documents (Form I-94), court and government-issued documents (if any), birth certificate, and immigration notices.

Write down any dates that may be important, and bring any questions that you want to ask the lawyer.

Request an Immigration Lawyer Consultation

At Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C., we are passionate about using our legal skills to help you. For a consultation with an immigration lawyer, contact us online or call us at 408-292-7995 today.

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