Immigration processes are complex; some can take months or years to complete. Some people go through some alone or with the help of people with similar experiences or an immigration attorney. You can’t go wrong with working with an immigration attorney when encountering or dealing with immigration-related matters.
Of course, hiring an immigration attorney could be one easy thing to do; however, you shouldn’t see it as something that simple. If you want your immigration process to go well, no matter how simple or complex, you should choose a well-grounded and competent attorney.
This involves knowing the due processes to follow and useful tips that will help you hire an immigration attorney to help your case with whom you’ll be comfortable.
If you’ve never had to hire an immigration attorney in the past, reading through this article will help you hire one fit for you.
Process of hiring an immigration attorney
While some attorneys might be good at their jobs, they may be busy and neglect your case. Since some immigration processing times may take months or years, you need an attorney that matches your goal and will be dedicated to your case.
Therefore, you should follow some processes, which include the following:
The first step to hiring an immigration attorney is to research. If you skip this, you may end up hiring an attorney who is inexperienced in immigration matters or cases similar to yours. You should be intentional about searching for the right attorney and not hire anyone because they have the “attorney” title attached to their names.
Things to search for include finding attorneys close to your area or at least licensed to practice law in your state and checking their area of specialization, education level, and experience. There are many online sources you can use to shortlist some immigration attorneys that can help your case.
- Ask for referrals
Referrals are great when you need help figuring out what to do. Compiling a list from online sources works, but you could make things easier by asking for referrals. You could ask some of your friends or relatives in your state whom you know have gone through a similar process for their experience.
Ask them about the immigration attorney they worked with and how it went for them. You might feel more comfortable working with an attorney who has previously helped someone close to you as it’s easier to determine whether they are reliable or competent.
- Read online reviews
Whether you compile a list from online sources or relatives or online forums, you still need to double-check before visiting the attorney or calling. Online reviews will help reiterate whether they are worth your time and money. For example, you can start by checking their website if they have one and review the information there.
You can determine their personality and understand how they work. Furthermore, online reviews show people’s experiences working with them. Read reviews and pay more attention to the detailed ones that explain their experiences. That way, you can determine the competency and trustworthiness of the attorney before hiring.
- Consider consultation
After reading online reviews, researching, and asking for referrals, you would’ve edited your list and have a few trustworthy immigration attorneys you can reach out to. However, sometimes, you may still have doubts or need help figuring out where to start. Consulting will help with that.
If you can afford it, you can consult with a few immigration attorneys to learn which you’re comfortable with and which is reliable. In addition, it may help clear doubts about your needs and how you can find the attorney that suits them.
For example, you can determine your needs by identifying your immigration status in the US, the type of assistance you need, and who to seek assistance from. The consultation will give you more clarity on whether the attorney is right for you.
- Look for experience
Another thing to do when hiring an immigration attorney is to look at their experience. This is very crucial. You shouldn’t only consider experience as an attorney but experience as an immigration attorney as well.
Working with an experienced immigration attorney will help your case as they monitor trends in immigration law and anticipate issues that help them handle their cases effectively. Since they have worked with situations similar to yours, you can determine their success rate and dedication to their clients more easily.
- Check your budget
Ultimately your budget will determine who you will hire for your case. However, this isn’t an excuse to hire a mediocre attorney for your case.
Beyond the attorney’s services fees, you will also have to factor in some other things. The attorney may need to travel overseas and review papers, which can be costly. Therefore, you should consider all of these before hiring an immigration attorney for your case.
- Consider availability
The next process to follow before hiring your immigration attorney is to consider availability. You don’t want to hire an attorney with too many cases on their table.
They may end up neglecting your case and not dedicating enough time to working with your case. This can be disappointing, so consider their availability or check whether it’s an agency with an available attorney to assign to your case.
- Confirm legal fees
Confirm legal fees when you meet up or call your potential immigration attorney. Ensure you ask about the legal fees, whether fixed or hourly. Don’t work with an attorney that can’t provide you with a specific rate.
Some attorneys may charge little at first and add additional fees you didn’t anticipate. Therefore, get the specific quote before entering an agreement with any immigration attorney.
- Ask for a legal agreement
Now that you have decided on which immigration attorney to hire for your case, it’s time to hire. Ensure you receive a legal agreement with the attorney stating your roles during your relationship. Be wary if the attorney doesn’t offer a legal agreement.
Hiring an immigration attorney should be done with care and seriousness. Don’t skip any step of the process if you want to ensure you choose the best one for your case. Referrals work a lot; therefore, ask for referrals and then run through the rest of the process discussed in this article.