This is a very popular question we often hear. In our digital age, everyone with a computer hypothethically has access to all the forms, booklets, data, and free information they could ask for. This begs the question: is hiring an immigration lawyer really worth it? Many people think hiring an immigration lawyer is pointless, simply because all of the information is available online already. Many simple immigration cases can be handled without legal representation – but often, immigration cases are complicated.
How much do immigration lawyers charge?
Legal fees for immigration attorneys vary widely. For example, hiring an attorney to help you file a family-based immigration petition, will be less than if you hired an immigration attorney to defend you in a deportation case.
For example, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles might charge you $500-$1200 for a citizenship/naturalization application, whereas they might charge $1000-$3000 for an asylum application.
Some attorneys may charge you more, if they have more experience, etc, or other advantages.
There are three main reasons you should consider hiring an immigration attorney: the application process for visas and family based petitions is complex. In addition, the US government is increasingly growing towards putting people in detention centers – and deporting them.
Hiring an immigration attorney reduces your risks and increases efficiency
When you hire an immigration lawyer, you’re able to complete your visa application, and therefore save yourself time. On average, it’s been estimated that hiring a visa lawyer can save you 4-8 weeks in processing time. In addition, an immigration lawyer knows exactly what type of visa is pertinent to your case, and can help you compile a valid and formal application without any errors. This will end up saving you tons of time, and money. In addition, it could help you avoid getting rejected – which would case issues in other ways. In addition, hiring an attorney can help prepare you for your interview at a consulate, or at USCIS within the country. Bottom line, you’re lowering chances of getting rejected.
Most people fail to realize that applying for a relief, via a waiver, or a visa adjustment, makes them more likely to get deported and/or excluded. Not hiring an attorney, and making the wrong decision, could harm your future: you risk being deported and excluded from US for a period of 3-20 years.
You’re here illegally, and want to go “legit”
Unlawful presence is a big term, especially now with the elections coming up. Unlawful presence, deals with the fact that some people are here illegally, and are undocumented – and want to get legal residency. Typically, in situations like this – you’ll need to hire an immigration lawyer who can review the facts of your case and help you determine what to do next. It is very difficult, in this situation, to do anything on your own. You will need the services of a Los Angeles immigration attorney, who can advise you. If you file a waiver of inadmissibility, you’ll need an attorney who can help you through this process and lower your overall risks.
This article is by Nima Haddadi, a premier Los Angeles DUI lawyer who has experience handling criminal cases that impact the immigration status of individuals.