What Is the Role of USA Immigration Lawyers in the Immigration Process?
The US has a staggering 13.1 million legal noncitizens and 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants. The process of obtaining citizenship is a long drawn-out process that can take up to 7 years.
Whether or not you require an immigrant lawyer will depend on what you’re reasons for being the country are in the first place. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at what the role of USA Immigration Lawyers is in the immigration process. Read on.
USA Immigration Lawyers: What Is Their Role
The role of a lawyer who specializes in immigration matters is quite different from that of other kinds of lawyers you might come across. They don’t spend time in court handling civil disputes.
So, what do immigration lawyers do? They spend most of their days helping US noncitizens sort out their immigration issues.
Their role is that of an advisor to immigrants who have to interact with the immigration authorities. They may also make court appearances before an immigration judge if their client is facing an immigration hearing.
How to Tell If You Need an Immigration Lawyer
If you’re wondering, “What does an immigration lawyer do and do you need one?” Well, believe it or not, they could be the difference between getting a permanent US residency or immediate deportation.
A migration lawyer (not to be confused with a migration agent) is critical to the entire process. If you are a US noncitizen, you’ll certainly need an immigration lawyer if:
1. You’ve Committed a Crime
When applying for US citizenship, most USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) forms require that you indicate whether or not you’ve previously committed or been convicted of a crime. It is important to not misrepresent yourself when filling out this section.
Remember, they’ll run your prints. So, if you’ve had any prior run-ins with the law, engaging an immigration attorney might save you from deportation. You can read more about what a conviction is for immigration purposes.
2. Your Previous Applications Have Been Declined
The immigration process is notoriously complex. It tests your patience on so many levels. You may have tried doing it on your own only to end up having your application rejected.
You may also be in the process but it appears to have stalled for a number of months or even years. An immigration lawyer might help you remedy the situation and perhaps even fast track the process.
3. You’ve Been Deported from the US
Getting forcibly removed from the US is nothing short of a traumatic experience. However, not all removals result in getting permanently barred from the country. An immigration lawyer can initiate an appeal process on your behalf.
4. The Determination of Your Application Status Is Taking an Unreasonably Long Time
A well-established immigration lawyer has built long-standing relationships with USCIS personnel. If you filed your application and still haven’t received feedback regarding your application status, an immigration lawyer can do a follow up on your behalf to get a timely response.
5. You Lost Your Permanent Residence Status in Your Divorce
If you obtained US permanent residency status as the result of a marriage to a US citizen, getting a divorce means you lose that status. If you are now getting into a second marriage with another US citizen, adjusting your permanent residency status can prove to be a difficult undertaking.
The burden of proof rests in your ability to show that your initial marriage was not a sham. An immigration lawyer is best placed to help you go about it.
6. You Have a Child Who Is About to Turn 21
Say for instance that you obtained a green card through your job and now have to immigrate with your family. They too are eligible for green cards provided the kids are below 21.
However, the process of obtaining permanent residency status can be painfully slow, to say the least. So, there’s cause to worry if one of your kids is about to turn 21.
You’ll need to retain an immigration lawyer so that they can expedite the process. Otherwise, if the child turns 21 before they get permanent residency status, they’ll effectively get locked out of the country and have to apply for residency on their own.
7. Your Employer Isn’t Willing to Handle the Immigration Process
If you receive an offer of employment from a US-based firm that requires you to immigrate, your prospective employer is under no obligation to help you with the immigration processes. In that case, you’ll have to get an immigration lawyer to help you with the process of getting a green card or visa.
Obtaining these documents based on an employment offer is quite a complicated process that could potentially result in lengthy delays. Don’t attempt to do it yourself or you might end up losing the opportunity altogether.
8. You Find Paperwork Alone Exhausting
Even the most basic of US immigration applications involves filling out mountains of paperwork. What’s more, you have to correctly fill out the requested information in great detail.
Some sections have very intricate instructions, which if not followed to a tee, could result in getting the application returned, delayed or in some instances, rejected. Immigration lawyers deal with this kind of stuff on a daily basis. Hiring an immigration lawyer is well worth the peace of mind.
The Bottom Line
With the complexity of issues surrounding the immigration process, it would be foolish not to seek help from USA immigration lawyers. They are best placed to present you with all the options available if you want a favorable outcome.
Whatever you do, don’t rely on advice from USCIS information officers. They wouldn’t be of much help to you, beyond providing you with basic procedural advice. Leave that to the experts.
Do you have any credit issues? Read about why it’s necessary to hire an attorney to sort them out.