When it comes to legal issues related to immigration, you want to make sure that you have an experienced attorney on your side representing you throughout your case. Your attorney can file documentation on your behalf, represent you at immigration court hearings, and assist you with other matters that are related to your case.
Many immigration lawyers allow for free initial consultations and case evaluations, during which time you can ask your prospective attorney any questions that you may have. After you consult with the attorney, you can decide whether or not to retain the lawyer’s services. In some instances, it is a good idea to consult with several different immigration attorneys before making a final decision on which attorney is best for you and your case.
Ask the Prospective Attorney Questions about His or Her Experience
When you meet with an attorney for your initial immigration consultation, you should come prepared with various questions. For example, you should ask the lawyer how many years of experience he or she has handling immigration cases. You should also ask the attorney if he or she has experience handling immigration cases with issues that are similar to yours, whether it involves obtaining the right visas for employees, seeking U.S. citizenship, or other issues.
Tell the Lawyer if Your Case Involves an Emergency
If your immigration case involves an emergency, a prospective attorney needs to know that right away. For example, time is usually of the essence if your immigration petition or application has been denied or if there is a federal order that effectively removes you from the United States.
Bring the Necessary Immigration Documents to Your Appointment
When it comes to your initial immigration consultation, it is also important that you bring all of the necessary documentation with you to the meeting. For instance, you should bring copies of any immigration decisions, notices, and receipts with you. You should also bring copies of any documents that have been filed with ICE or USCIS. Finally, if you have them, you should bring copies of all green cards, passports, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and employment authorization cards.
If there is an immigration court hearing coming up, and you have been notified of that hearing in writing, you should bring a copy of the hearing notice to show to the lawyer. That way, the attorney can confirm his or her availability to attend the hearing.
Bring Copies of Criminal Records, if Applicable
In the event you have been arrested for a crime – or if you have received a citation – you should bring a copy of the criminal citation or arrest record with you to the meeting. Also, if there is documentation that shows the disposition of the case (the case result), you should bring that with you too.
Take Good Notes
When you go to an immigration attorney’s office for an initial consultation, it is important that you take good notes. That way, you can evaluate whether a particular immigration attorney is the right one for you, and you can compare your notes with those from other attorney consultations.