When requesting an immigrant visa or green card, either domestically or abroad, having legal representation may be something to consider. While you may be able to get immigrant visas or green cards without a lawyer if you have a simple case, having representation can be a great help for some.
Many immigrants to the United States are unfamiliar with immigration law and rely on friends, relatives, translators, and notaries for assistance. They usually get inaccurate data, and, as a result, the person seeking immigration will face significant challenges in the future when seeking permanent residence, citizenship, and family reunions, among other things.
An immigration lawyer is a non-affiliated professional who assists clients with various difficulties relating to visas, green cards, U.S. citizenship, and other immigration law. An experienced immigration attorney keeps track of continuously changing immigration law, is aware of common errors made by clients, and is always up to date on any news relevant to your field.
What is a Green Card?
Green Card refers to a photo identity card that confirms your status as a permanent resident, which implies you can work and live in the United States indefinitely until the government restricts your entry.
Employment-Based Green Card
A foreign national with an employment-based Green Card has the right and privilege to live and work in the United States.
People who fall into particular categories are eligible to get a Green Card based on employment-related characteristics, which is why it’s termed an “employment-based” Green Card. They have the expertise, skill, or a business in the United States, making them economically valuable.
One of the most prevalent ways for foreign nationals to get permanent residency in the United States is through an employment-based Green Card.
People can apply for it either from overseas or through an Adjustment of Status application, such as from an H1B visa to a Green Card.
Is It Necessary To Hire A Lawyer For A Green Card?
Once you have been issued a green card, you are free to operate within the confines of your visa until it expires. However, obtaining a green card is a difficult process. While it is legally possible to apply for a green card without the assistance of an attorney, understanding immigration services without assistance can be difficult.
Each type of visa has its own set of documents, each with its own set of expenses and destinations for submission. A minor paperwork error, inadvertent misinformation, or a lack of documentation can be disastrous. Because of their knowledge and experience, a green card lawyer with experience in immigration and nationality law will be able to spot any mistakes, arrange information, and work promptly.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll need an immigration lawyer to get your green card, consider how much time and effort it will take to apply for one, especially if this is your first time. A green card lawyer can assist relieve some of the tension that comes with the green card application process. You don’t have to go through this on your own, and most people who hire a green card attorney are glad they did.
Why Do I Need a Green Card Attorney?
There have been cases where applicants have successfully petitioned for a green card without the assistance of a lawyer. Still, the procedure is not simple, even with the help of green card lawyers.
Working with a lawyer on your green card visa application will benefit you. Because you are the greatest judge of yourself, supplying information to your lawyer that is needed as evidence can help the process of completing paperwork go much more smoothly. You can supply the expertise, while your green card lawyer can offer their experience and in-depth knowledge of immigration law.
While immigration forms appear simple at first look, the laws and requirements surrounding paperwork, proof, and payments are intricate. Because immigration lawyers are more familiar with the procedure, they are more equipped to assist you.
When Should You Hire an Immigration Attorney?
If you find yourself in the following situations, you should seek the advice of an immigration lawyer:
- You are not sure if you’re eligible for a green card or another type of immigration advantage.
- You received government aid while in the United States or are concerned that you may be inadmissible for any reason.
- You’re requesting any kind of discretionary remedies, such as asylum or a waiver, which entails persuading the immigration authorities to make an exception or provide you with benefits that another applicant in your situation would not receive.
- You’re having trouble getting a green card, citizenship, or another immigration benefit from the USCIS; perhaps you’ve been requested to provide additional evidence.
- You require immediate assistance with an immigration issue.
- You’ve been notified that deportation proceedings against you have begun.
- You were deported from the United States and want to apply to return.
- You’ve previously had an immigration application refused or denied.
- You have been convicted of or committed a criminal act and are attempting to enter the United States or defend yourself from deportation.
- You want to relocate to the United States to work for a U.S. company, but it hasn’t helped you with the immigration procedure.
- You’ve looked into the application procedure and concluded that the amount of paperwork and documentation you’ll need to prepare on your own is either too difficult or time-consuming, or you’re applying for an investment-based visa.
How to Find the Best Immigration Attorney
Before picking an attorney to represent you, you should probably speak with several. You want someone who has handled cases similar to yours; many immigration lawyers specialize in areas such as business immigration, deportation, and asylum.
A qualified immigration lawyer can make all the difference in your ability to acquire a U.S. visa, green card, citizenship, deportation relief, or any other type of U.S. immigration benefit. Many immigration lawyers are dedicated and trustworthy individuals.
They truly want to assist you in understanding your immigration options and dealing with a bureaucracy that is difficult to work with and prone to delays.
There are, however, unprofessional, inexperienced, and outright awful immigration attorneys. They may overcharge you, fail to deliver on their promises, or even severely harm your case. Some scammers prey on immigrants by posing as immigration lawyers and convincing foreign people to seek benefits that aren’t available.
Make sure you select the best lawyer on your side and avoid the lower types of practitioners, no matter what immigration benefit or relief you’re seeking.
How Much Would it Cost Me to Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
Depending on what you require, the cost of hiring an immigration attorney to handle your case might range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. (It also excludes charges such as government application fees, pictures, medical examinations, travel expenses, and so on.)
However, many immigration attorneys charge flat fees for their services, so you know exactly what you’re getting into and can compare the costs of different attorneys right away.
Of course! before agreeing to a flat price, you should ask each attorney to describe the services that will be covered thoroughly. If you’re bringing family, there may be a separate flat price for each individual.
Don’t let the average flat fees you see online influence your expectations. It’s impossible to say what your case entails and, as a result, how much an attorney should charge for handling it until an attorney has thoroughly examined your case to see if “extra” services are required, such as asking for a waiver of inadmissibility or analyzing the impact of a prior criminal conviction.
What Does an Immigration Lawyer Charge?
The cost of legal services varies greatly based on the services required. For instance, Engaging an attorney to assist you in filing a family-based immigration petition will be significantly less expensive than hiring a lawyer to defend you in front of immigration judges in a deportation proceeding.
Here are a few examples of average legal fees:
Type of Application
Legal Fees (US Dollar)
Employment Authorization (Work Permit)
$ 300 – $ 600
Application for Citizenship
$ 500 – $ 1,500
Petition for a Green Card based on family members
$ 800 – $ 3,000
Petitions based on employment
$ 1,500 – $ 7,000
Application for Asylum
$ 1,000 – $ 6,000
Application for Change of Status
$ 600 – $ 2,500
$ 2,000 – $ 15,000
NoteThe amounts mentioned above are indicative only; the actual fees may vary
Some lawyers may charge significantly more if they have a lot of expertise, work in large, expensive U.S. cities like New York or San Francisco, utilize special tools and techniques, or have other reasons to charge extra.
Facebook Groups, Travel Forums, Group Chats, and Pitfalls
While staying updated on information and posts from people in similar situations is good, it is not advisable to blindly follow-suite and take action on your immigration application or situation. There is nothing that can replace expert factual recommendations from professionals. One small error can delay your file, case in processing time, or in extreme cases, and you may even get rejection notices.
As the famous English saying goes, ‘don’t be pennywise, pound foolish’ immigration lawyers who specialize in this and see cases daily know what and how to represent your application. Save yourself time and judgemental errors in what to do in something as important as your immigration.
You probably already know that the laws and processes are difficult if you’re interested to get a green card so you can live, work, and stay in the US for an extended period of time. There are numerous exclusions and contradictions in U.S. immigration laws.
The amount of paperwork needed can be overwhelming, there will inevitably be mistakes made by the government, and mistakes made by the applicant could have catastrophic consequences.
It is crucial to retain the services of an expert immigration attorney to assist you with your Green Card application. Many data, proper documentation, and regulations are commonly included in Green Card applications. It is in your best interests to hire an attorney to help you expedite the procedure.
Your lawyer can check to see if your application is complete and on time. An incomplete application or one that is not presented promptly may jeopardize a person’s ability to acquire a Green Card. Additionally, if you are obliged to go before a panel or a judge, your attorney can represent you.