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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do immigration lawyers do?

    Immigration lawyers help individuals and businesses communicate with authorities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Immigration lawyers assist foreign nationals who are living or working in the United States or want to enter the country legally. They provide legal advice, prepare visa and green card applications, and represent clients in administrative hearings and immigration courts. They also represent individuals who are facing legal challenges such as detention or deportation.

  • How much does an immigration lawyer cost?

    Immigration attorney fees vary significantly based on the specific services a client needs, the attorney’s experience, and the geographic region. Lawyers in this field usually charge between $150 to $350 per hour, plus fees for filing various kinds of paperwork. Services such as form filing, green card applications, and naturalization applications can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars including attorney fees and filing fees. For employment-related visas or green cards, the employer may be responsible for a portion of that cost. The cost of more complex situations such as asylum applications and deportation defense can range from $1,000 to nearly $10,000.

  • Do immigration lawyers go to court?

    Yes, while immigration attorneys typically represent clients during administrative proceedings overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice, they can present cases in federal courts at all levels. They also handle circuit court and Supreme Court complaints after cases have been reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals—the highest administrative body within the immigration system.

  • Is hiring an immigration lawyer worth it?

    Hiring an immigration attorney is generally a smart decision. Effective legal representation can save time, prevent costly mistakes, and help clients navigate complicated filing processes and deadlines. Lawyers can provide accurate, personalized advice consistent with current regulations. They can prepare effective applications and help clients  avoid application rejections or requests for additional information. Immigration attorneys help clients prepare for interviews, apply for waivers, and overcome various legal barriers. Immigration laws are notoriously complex and subject to change, and government agencies are favoring detention and deportation increasingly, which can make self representation risky.

  • What questions should I ask an immigration lawyer?

    Initial meetings give prospective clients an opportunity to screen immigration attorneys and determine if an attorney can meet their needs. You should assess the lawyer’s level of experience as well as their history handling similar cases. Here are some useful questions to ask:

    • How can you help with my case?
    • What’s the best strategy in this case?
    • Can you check my immigration status?
    • How much will these services cost?
    • What is the best way to reach my immigration case manager?
    • What happens if I am unable to pay?
    • What is the next step?
  • Can a lawyer help immigrant children who have been separated from their parents?

    Yes, immigration attorneys can petition Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release detainees and reunite children with their parents. In recent years, officials have separated thousands of migrant and asylum-seeking children from their parents, especially at border crossings. Attorneys affiliated with the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the American Immigration Council are actively fighting government policies through the Immigration Justice Campaign. In some cases, pro bono legal services are available to families who have been affected by parent-children separation.

  • How can someone legally immigrate to the United States?

    Generally speaking, individuals who are visiting the United States for more than 90 days or are arriving from a non-waiver country must apply for a visa or green card. Visas enable individuals to remain in the United States temporarily for specific activities, such as studying, working, or traveling. Foreign nationals, including relatives of permanent residents and citizens, who wish to live in the United States permanently, must apply for a green card. Usually, travelers must secure documents at a foreign consulate before traveling to the United States. An immigration attorney can provide specific advice regarding different types of visas and eligibility categories, as well as updates on immigration policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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