What Does An Immigration Lawyer Do?

by | Jun 22, 2022 | Immigration, Immigration Lawyer

As an immigrant in the United States or someone planning to migrate, you have most likely struggled with immigration laws at some point; this is where immigration lawyers come in. So, what does an immigration lawyer do? How can they help you and is it necessary to hire one? If you’ve had these questions and are looking for more information about immigration lawyers, you’ve come to the right place!

US immigration law is complex and as anyone who has ever tried to navigate it will tell you, even people born in the country find it hard to understand. The US immigration law has often been compared to the US tax laws in terms of complexity.

Considering the complexity of immigration laws and procedures in the United States, it’s advisable to consult an immigration lawyer in San Jose, CA to help you with your case. They can not only help you understand the immigration laws applicable to you but also help you navigate them without hassle.

What does an immigration lawyer do?

The United States has a constant influx of individuals and families seeking work or education opportunities and permanent residence in the country. An immigration lawyer can help such individuals or families navigate the several immigration laws and procedures involved in the migration process.

The immigration status of an individual, family, or business also often intersects with other laws and legal matters. For example, your case may intersect with family laws if you’re trying to bring your family to the States from your home country. It may intersect with business and tax laws if you have become a resident of the States and wish to start your own business. If you need help with criminal charges in the US as an immigrant from another country, your case will intersect with criminal laws.

The benefits of an experienced immigration attorney

An experienced lawyer can help you navigate all these laws and the procedures involved in your case. You can hire an immigration lawyer to represent you in courts or to advise you on your legal rights and duties regarding immigration, along with other things. They can also make recommendations based on their understanding of immigration law.

For example, an immigration lawyer can help you with the H-1B visa process to gain legal status to work in the US. The H1-B visa program provides a set of rules and regulations for US-based employers to hire foreign nationals to work for them. If you’re trying to migrate to the States for such an employment opportunity, you know that the process is complicated, tedious, and intimidating.

Help with filling out important forms

An immigration lawyer can help you fill out all the forms correctly and guide you regarding further steps. They can also help you deal with government authorities in the visa process.

US laws are known to be complex and difficult to navigate even for English-speaking US nationals. Even a minor mistake in the forms or procedures can result in delays or outright rejections. As a person from another country where English may or may not be your first language, you can benefit immensely from hiring an immigration lawyer.

When should you hire an immigration lawyer?

While it’s advisable to hire an immigration lawyer any time you need help with anything related to immigration laws, it’s crucial to hire one in certain situations.

A conviction for a crime

You will have to work with an immigration lawyer if you’ve been convicted of a crime. Almost every USCIS application asks whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a crime. You must reveal your full criminal history, including charges that have been dropped or expunged. An immigration lawyer will be familiar with how immigration and criminal laws intersect, removing the need for a separate criminal attorney.

Application being denied

If your previous immigration applications were denied, you will need the help of an immigration lawyer. Your attorney will analyze why your application was rejected and if you can file an appeal or reapply at a future date. They may also help you with the appeal or reapplication process.

Being previously deported

If you were previously deported or barred from entering the United States, you will need to hire an attorney. It’s because deportation or exclusion may result in the applicant being permanently barred from applying for jobs. An immigration lawyer can help you figure out if this is the scenario and advise you on the consequences of deportation and exclusion.

Extremely long wait times

You should consider hiring an immigration attorney when you’ve been waiting for an unreasonable amount of time during the application process. Due to their familiarity with the application process, immigration lawyers are also aware of due dates and expected wait times. The lawyer may be able to assist you with accelerated or rush processing.

Marriage being terminated

If you were married to a US citizen but the marriage ended before you could remove some conditions from your resident status, you will need the help of a lawyer. In general, visa applications based on a marital relationship are filed jointly.  As a result, proving that the marriage was not fraudulent could be particularly difficult if it ended due to death or divorce.

A recent divorce

If you want to change your residency status but were divorced recently and are now married to a different US citizen, you’re in a similar situation. An immigration lawyer may help you prove that the first relationship was legitimate if the first marriage was alleged as being a scam.

Having a child who is under 21 years

The age of the immigrant determines eligibility for permanent residency, and the requirements for children under the age of 21 are different. An immigration lawyer can advise you on the best approach to filing for your children. This is especially true if you are trying to come with your family and your child will turn 21 years old before being given permanent resident status.

Benefits of hiring an immigration lawyer

The truth about immigration in the United States is that several potential immigrants are unclear about what is needed of them during the procedure. This lack of knowledge becomes a barrier to entry and legal stay.

Here are 7 benefits of hiring an immigration lawyer to represent you in this complicated area of the law.

Avoid mistakes

Securing a visa, obtaining a loved one’s residence in the States, and finalizing your marriage with an immigrant, and several other procedures, all require the proper filing of paperwork. The paperwork is usually lengthy and complicated. Without help from a lawyer, there are several ways to make mistakes that will permanently sabotage your visa or other application.

An experienced immigration lawyer may lead you through all the proper procedures for applying for work visas, marriage licenses, and citizenship. They can ensure that you don’t make mistakes that can jeopardize the chances of getting these important documents accepted by the appropriate authorities.

Be backed by experience

It is hard to overstate the value of working with an immigration lawyer who is experienced in turning the aspirations of immigrants into reality.

Working with someone who has done everything before for thousands of people who were in your situation is priceless. It’s one thing to know the law; it’s quite another to know how to help an immigrant succeed.

Maneuver the process effectively

A great immigration lawyer is well-versed in all of the legal maneuvers required to get you to your desired destination. A professional immigration lawyer is a genuine expert on everything you need to make things happen. Whether it’s obtaining a work visa in the States, obtaining permanent resident status, or obtaining full US citizenship, your immigration lawyer can help.

Help with laws as a permanent resident

Even after securing a work permit or permanent residency in the United States, immigrants are subject to unique laws. If you break these laws while in the country, you may be repatriated before your visa expires or after you obtain permanent residency. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can guide you to understand these laws so that your status as an immigrant with permanent residency in the United States is not jeopardized.

Help finding a job

Immigrants have a harder time finding work in the States than people born in America, much less a job that also pays a competitive salary. An immigration lawyer can help you with look for jobs, the application process for the job, and dealing with human resource personnel.

Help charting a path to citizenship

An immigration lawyer is deeply familiar with the road map for citizenship and can share that knowledge with you at every puzzling and difficult step in the immigration process.

An immigration process is never simple, and many times, there are many steps to be taken and documents to be completed. You may feel overwhelmed, especially if English is not your native tongue. A competent immigration lawyer can lead you through this intense process. They can help you go one step at a time, regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Help understanding your options

You have options, no matter what your circumstance is. Your expert immigration lawyer can lay out such possible solutions in front of you, ensuring that you are aware of the full scope of your situation. Whether you’re applying for citizenship or anything else, your scenario is most likely delicate and pressing. It is critical that you comprehend the various options available to you as you move forward and your immigration lawyer can help you with this.

What do immigration lawyers not do?

An immigration lawyer cannot accompany an applicant to a consular interview if they are located outside of the United States. They may, however, prepare correct documentation and communicate with associated consulates afterward. It’s important to remember that lawyers can’t make the immigration process go faster, and they can’t guarantee the outcome. An attorney can only assist you in navigating the immigration process; they cannot control the outcome.

benefits of hiring an immigration lawyer

Checklist to work with an immigration lawyer

You must do certain things and retain certain documents when you work with an immigration lawyer. The following checklist will come in handy and help you understand your obligations and those of your lawyer.

  • Confirm that the immigration lawyer is licensed by the State Bar of California. Your lawyer must give you their State Bar number and you can cross-check this with the State Bar. You can also check if the State Bar has ever disciplined the lawyer.
  • Talk to other people who have used the services of an immigration lawyer. Don’t just rely on someone’s fancy title or certificates. Check in with trustworthy community groups or people you know personally if an immigration lawyer you’re considering is good.
  • Obtain a written contract from the immigration lawyer that is signed and dated, but do not sign anything until you fully understand it.
  • Before signing a document or paying any money, talk to someone you can trust.
  • Anybody who pushes you to act right away should be avoided.
  • Ensure the contract specifies the services you’ve been promised as well as the amount you’ll have to pay.
  • The contract with the immigration lawyer must be documented in both English and your native language.
  • You can cancel your agreement with an immigration lawyer at any time and receive a refund. Within 72 hours of signing a contract, you are entitled to a full refund. The contract must be canceled in writing.
  • Get a receipt with a date that shows the services you paid for and the amount you paid. Ensure that the receipt is signed by the lawyer.
  • Maintain a copy of the signed contract, invoice, and any forms that are being filed in your name. Take careful notes and save them for future reference.
  • Only give the immigration lawyer copies of the original documents. Keep the originals in a secure location.

To sum up…

The US immigration laws and procedures are incredibly complex and sometimes lengthy. It’s best to work with an experienced immigration lawyer, regardless of what you’re working towards. The benefits of hiring an immigration lawyer are immense, but you should keep the checklist given above handy so you can get appropriate help.

Contact us today to get help with your immigration process, visa, or any other processes involving immigration laws.