Why Hire an Immigration Attorney?

If you need to make important life decisions related to immigration, or if the outcome of your immigration case is important for you, it’s good to have a qualified immigration lawyer that you know and trust on your team.

Everybody knows it’s better to go to the doctor for preventive care rather than to wait until a medical emergency happens. Similarly, it’s better to consult a U.S. immigration lawyer early rather than waiting until it’s too late.

Immigration lawyers do more than just fill in immigration forms. We interpret complex laws and procedures, give strategic advice, and marshal evidence and testimony in support of our clients’ cases. 

Interpret Complex Laws and Procedures

Some immigration cases are relatively straightforward, but others are not. U.S. immigration laws and procedures can be very complex. Supreme Court Justice Alito has called portions of the law “dizzying,” and Justice Kagan wrote that it’s “so through and through perplexing” that only a “masochist” would try to interpret it.

The INA [Immigration and Nationality Act] and its underlying bureaucracy is often compared to the Internal Revenue Code as being one of the two most complicated statutes in the U.S. Code.

– U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, DOS Cable 99-State-21138 (Feb. 4, 1999)

[The Immigration and Nationality Act] is not known for being warm or cuddly; words like “intricate” and “Byzantine” come more easily to mind…. Nor is it known for being easy to understand; we have often remarked on its fiendish complexity.

Akram v. Holder (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, 2013)

Immigration law is changing all the time, making it a challenge for even lawyers to keep up with the changes.

Immigration is a mystery and mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.

– Karen Kraushaar, U.S. Immigration and Nationality Service Spokesperson, quoted in Washington Post, [Maryland] Family Ensnared in Immigration Maze–After Changes in Law, Couple Faces Deportation (Apr. 24, 2001)

Immigration lawyers research and prepare legal briefs in support of our arguments and advocate personally to the immigration and consular officers on behalf of our clients’ positions.

Immigration lawyers don’t just blindly follow the government’s legal interpretations and procedural instructions. Our job may be to challenge the government’s interpretations and instructions when that is in our clients’ interests.

Strategic Advice

A qualified immigration lawyer knows what questions to ask and what evidence to review in order to analyze whether or not your case may be problematic. Having handled many cases, we are prepared for many of the potential pitfalls in cases that at first seemed “easy.” If the analysis shows that your case is relatively straightforward, you’ll leave the consultation with peace of mind and with advice about how to increase the odds that your application will go through the immigration bureaucracy smoothly and quickly. If the analysis shows that your case is more complex, an immigration lawyer can propose realistic strategies to deal with the complexity.

Marshaling Evidence and Testimony

In many types of immigration cases, the applicant bears the burden of proof, meaning the application is only approved if the applicant presents sufficiently evidence to persuade the officer of eligibility. Just as there are rules of evidence in court, there are also rules of evidence in immigration cases before administrative agencies. The lawyer helps the client to prepare and gather documentary evidence. The lawyer also helps to prepare clients and witnesses to give testimony to the government at interviews or hearings.

What Consular Officers Think about Applicants Represented by Counsel

Some clients have asked our firm whether a U.S. Consulate may be suspicious because a visa applicant has hired an attorney. The answer is no. Consular officials have actually thanked our firm for explaining the law and facts of cases clearly, thus assisting the officials in adjudicating the cases.

The employment of a lawyer does not constitute a red flag or signal the existence of a problem in the case….The best immigration attorneys know the law very well….

One very important service that attorneys provide to their clients is making sure that forms are correctly completed and necessary supporting documentation presented at the time of the interview. Posts … will appreciate this service.

– U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, DOS Cable 99-State-21138 (Feb. 4, 1999)

In the sometimes complex world of visas, a good attorney can prepare a case properly…. The attorney can help the consular officer by organizing a case in a logical manner; by clarifying issues of concern; … and by providing the applicant with the necessary understanding of the intricacies of the visa process.

– State Department Visa Office, reproduced in 67 Interpreter Releases 950, 967, 969-70 (Aug. 27, 1990)


Conclusion

Just as you would expect to pay doctors for their experience, knowledge, and training in medicine, you should expect to pay lawyers something for their experience, knowledge, and training, and for the time they spend listening to the facts of the situation you might bring to them and for advising you.

Beware that some lawyers and non-lawyers purport to offer immigration law advice despite lacking experience and qualifications. Our law firm has licensed U.S. attorneys. We have represented thousands of clients worldwide in immigration matters. We are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Lower your stress-level by hiring a law firm that you can be confident will handle your case in a professional and expedient manner.

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