10 Ways an Expert Immigration Attorney Can Help
The United States is a country of immigrants – it is a diverse melting pot of cultures and peoples. In fact, between 98-99% of US citizens are related to an immigrant. Despite the nation’s storied history and global roots, immigration continues to be a controversial issue amongst both citizens and political leaders. Further, current immigration structures are likely to change within the coming years, and migrating to the US permanently will probably become more difficult. Enforcement policies have already become more strict, with ICE intensely guarding US borders and conducting deportation raids. Considering this, the best tool in your arsenal is the knowledge that an expert immigration attorney can provide.
Above all, immigrants facing court proceedings are more likely to experience successful outcomes if they have legal counsel. This article lists some of the most prominent reasons why you may need to consult with an immigration lawyer. If you don’t see your specific situation below, that’s okay – this list is not exhaustive. The lawyers at Davis & Associates specialize in immigration law – they can help you no matter your situation.
1. You or a loved one face deportation.
Deportation, or removal from the United States, is one of the scariest challenges any immigrant may face. In fact, approximately 226,000 people were forcibly deported from the US in fiscal year 2017. Deportation can separate families and devastate lives, especially if the deportee fears for their safety or faces economic hardship should they return to their home country. If you or a loved one face deportation proceedings, it is critical that you acquire legal representation. In fact, a recent study by Eagly & Shafer found that those represented by immigration attorneys during deportation hearings were more likely to have a successful legal outcome, as well as a less stressful court process. Conversely, those who did not have lawyers were more vulnerable and faced difficult and less desirable results.
2. You are applying for asylum.
The application process for potential asylees is complicated and can take months (or even years). Any error or omission on any paperwork or evidence can lead to delay or denial of an asylee’s application. Further, all asylum seekers must be able to prove that they face credible threats of violence, harm, or imprisonment upon return to their home country. Typically, a government official will interview a potential asylee to determine credible fear. This process is often stressful for applicants, as they have to relive potential trauma and discuss personal histories with a stranger. But a lawyer can protect an asylee’s rights, ensuring a fair application and interview process. Additionally, skilled lawyers provide support, both emotional and legal, during stressful interview proceedings.
3. You want to apply for a green card.
A green card is the gateway to permanent residence in the United States. Green cards provide lawful permanent resident (LPR) status to qualified foreign nationals for a limited amount of time. But, only certain people can apply for green cards, based on several eligibility categories. If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply for a green card, an experienced immigration lawyer can help.
Depending on your status, applying for a green card can be fairly straightforward or very difficult. Processing times vary depending on application type and submission location. No matter the situation, a lawyer will provide insider knowledge and keen insight. An immigration attorney can:
- Let you know if you are eligible for a green card;
- Explain any bars to eligibility that may prevent you from applying;
- Help you sponsor a loved one’s green card application;
- Guide the application process, including completion and submission of paperwork;
- Represent you should any questions or concerns arise; and/or
- Ensure your rights are protected.
4. You’re engaged to a foreigner.
Love knows no boundaries, and if you find yourself engaged to a foreigner, you’ll want to talk an immigration lawyer. K-1 nonimmigrant, or “fiancé,” visas are available to those foreigners engaged to United States citizens and allow applicants to travel to the US for marriage. These visas are readily available, but the application process can be complicated and stressful, and involves evidence and submissions from both parties. Additionally, a K-1 fiancé visa is not guaranteed, and certain bars to eligibility exist. An immigration lawyer can handle all application procedures to limit the stress you face during your engagement.
5. A loved one is detained by the government.
Above all, the physical and psychological toll of detainment is incalculable. Those who are detained have limited access to legal counsel, which is detrimental during every step of the court process. If your loved one has been arrested and detained by ICE or another government agency, hope is not lost. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you find your loved one in the detention system. Once represented, your lawyer can develop an action plan and protect your loved one’s right to fair judgment and consideration.
So, if you worry about ICE raids or possible detainment, don’t wait. Contact an expert immigration attorney today and make a plan. If you have a plan of action in place and know your rights, you’re more likely to have successful interactions and outcomes with government officials and agencies.
6. You currently have special immigration status.
Special immigration status is often provided through government-designed programs or initiatives. Examples of these are the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program. While these programs provide a multitude of benefits, at this time they do not provide a direct path to permanent legal status and, eventually, citizenship. This unfortunately means that those who possess special status are often vulnerable to changing government opinions or priorities. Recently, the Trump administration has attacked both TPS and DACA, leaving beneficiaries of both programs unsure of their futures in America. If you fear losing your special immigration status, don’t lose hope. An expert immigration attorney can help identify potential paths forward and defend your rights.
7. You are ready to become a naturalized citizen.
It is not easy to become a naturalized citizen of the United States. There are many eligibility requirements an applicant must meet before applying for naturalization. Thus, if you are unsure if you meet these requirements or have questions, an immigration lawyer can help. Additionally, for those who are eligible, the process is lengthy and can be stressful. It involves a citizenship test, which assesses both English proficiency and civics knowledge, and an interview with a USCIS official. A qualified immigration attorney can guide your naturalization process and make it as stress-free as possible.
8. You’re looking to apply for an H-1B visa.
Whether you looking to hire foreign workers, or hope to travel to the United States on an H-1B visa, an immigration attorney can assist you. This is because immigration attorneys consistently work with businesses large and small to provide insight on the H-1B application process. For corporations, foreign workers provide a competitive edge. For foreign nationals, H-1B visas provide a unique and exciting opportunity to immigrate temporarily to the US. The visas are beneficial for both parties, and immigration lawyers can facilitate application processes and explain everything you can expect. In a time of tight competition for H-1B visas, lawyers can also prepare your expectations and guide you through setbacks.
If you’re hoping to benefit from an H-1B visa, a lawyer can help you:
- Understand the nature of the H-1B visa program and application process;
- Submit all necessary paperwork in a timely manner;
- Explain any bars to eligibility for foreign applicants;
- Navigate requests for evidence (RFEs); and/or
- Address setbacks such as delays or denials.
9. You want to know your rights.
Current events in politics and across America can be disheartening, especially for immigrants and their families. So, it is wise to consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure you’re prepared and protected. They can help you make a plan and understand your rights, even in the most dire situations.
An experienced immigration attorney can help you:
- Learn your rights in case of arrest or search;
- Create an action plan;
- Educate family members and loved ones; and/or
- Respond appropriately in the case of arrest or search.
10. You want peace of mind.
As with any immigration issue, peace of mind comes with the knowledge that you have a plan. Therefore, a good plan, devised by an expert immigration lawyer, will protect your rights and aim for the best possible outcome.
Remember, a qualified immigration attorney can help you:
- Apply for a visa or green card;
- Defend yourself against deportation or removal;
- Reunite with loved ones from across the globe;
- Prepare for any necessary interviews or statements;
- Submit necessary paperwork error-free and on time;
- Understand your rights in a variety of situations;
- Create an action plan in case of arrest or search; and/or
- Begin the process to become a naturalized US citizen.
Contact an experienced immigration attorney today
Whatever your specific need, there are numerous benefits of consulting with a skilled immigration lawyer. First, you’ll be able to describe your case to a true expert. They will be able to apply their knowledge and skill set to your specific case. Second, you’ll be better able to navigate the path ahead, because your attorney will be there each step of the way. They can ensure that any paperwork, legal filings, or other information is timely and accurate. They’ll also protect your rights and represent you during any court appearances or interviews that may be required.
In conclusion, our legal assistance is always available. The attorneys at Davis & Associates are experienced and knowledgeable regarding all aspects of immigration law. If you have an immigration question or concern, we can help. Contact Davis & Associates today for your free initial consultation.