Why hire an immigration lawyer instead of doing it yourself?

31 May

Immigration law is very complex.  An experienced immigration lawyer will know what information to provide with your application so that you can get your approval faster and avoid a request for more evidence.  Also, an immigration lawyer knows the consequences of the answers to an application.


You are a citizen who wants to apply for an immigration visa for your brother.  On the application form you see that under the law you can do that.  You fill out all of the paperwork and send it in to immigration with the corresponding payment.  Meanwhile, your brother waits patiently for his visa interview (while you fill out more paperwork and send the government more money).  The problem is, your brother has been living illegally in the United States for the last 5 years.  When the time comes, your brother shows up for his visa interview in your home country only to find out he is ineligible because if his illegal stay in the U.S.  You have wasted hundreds of dollars and had false hopes of permanent residence for your brother.

If you had hired an attorney for even a simple consultation, she would have told you of your brothers inevitable ineligibility and saved you hundreds of dollars for the cost of one consultation.  An experienced lawyer knows whether or not your relatives will be eligible for the visas for which you are applying.  By looking only at the instructions on an immigration application it may appear to you that your brother is eligible for an immigrant visa, when in fact he is not.

This happens all the time and by the time a client consults with a lawyer, it is already too late.  They have wasted hundreds of dollars on an application that will never be approved and potentially exposed themselves to even more negative immigration consequences than if they had never began the application.  It is also possible to fill out the wrong application costing you over one thousand dollars! 

Filling out the wrong application is not the only pitfall of doing it yourself.  Certain responses on an immigration application will cause the immigration officer to scrutinize your application more thoroughly or request more information.  I am not in any way suggesting that you lie on an immigration application, but if you hire an attorney, she will know which answers will subject you to more scrutiny so that you can send in all the required information before immigration even asks for it.  There are also some answers that will make you ineligible for a visa (as above).  Your lawyer can alert you ahead of time so that you don’t fill out any application at all, thus saving you money and perhaps even removal proceedings.  So, save yourself the stress and the headache – consult with a lawyer before you think about doing it yourself.


The above is general information and not legal advice.  You should consult with an attorney regarding the details of your case.  No attorney-client privilege or relationship is created by the use of this site.

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Posted by on May 31, 2011 in immigration, Uncategorized


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