You are not legally required to hire an immigration lawyer to represent you on matters relating to immigration. A lot of people choose to do things without hiring an agent or lawyer. But it can help to have a trained professional to advocate for you if there is a lot of stake, such as avoiding deportation and getting asylum. We will discuss when and why you should hire a lawyer and how to choose the best lawyer.
Do I need to hire a lawyer?
Immigration law doesn’t require you to have a lawyer when handling an immigration matter. It may, however, help to pursue a wide range of legal services depending on your situation.
Consider the following factors when hiring a lawyer.
- The level of complication of your case
You might not need a lawyer if you want to apply for permanent residence through a standard form. But you will require a lawyer if you are facing a complicated situation.
- What is at stake?
Consider what is at stake before making your decision on whether to work with a lawyer or not. It may be crucial to hire a lawyer if a mistake would cause a change in your status of immigration or potential deportation. You may need a lawyer if you will lose the filing fee and have to delay travel temporarily whilst waiting for your immigrant visa.
- Know the cost of a lawyer
You should know the cost of an immigration lawyer before hiring one. A lot of immigration law firms will charge you a flat fee instead of charging an hourly rate. Flat rates mean that you’ll pay one preset amount regardless of the hours your lawyer spends on your case. Keep in mind that the amount charged depends on how complicated your case is and where you live.
Finding the Right lawyer
Finding the right lawyer for your needs is essential to increase your chances of success.
- Ask for referrals
You could have a friend or work colleague who has used a lawyer or know one focusing on a different area of legal practice. The lawyer will likely have a network of other lawyers they are willing to recommend to you.
- Get referrals from professional legal organizations
These are groups of lawyers that may be able to help you find the right lawyer depending on your unique case. They can help you get the right lawyer depending on your category such as a work visa, family visa, etc.
How to know if a lawyer is right for you
You should choose the lawyer that is the best fit for your needs after creating a shortlist of potential lawyers. The cost of legal services is an important factor to consider. Keep in mind that choosing a lawyer is a subjective matter.
You should ensure your lawyer meets the basic requirements such as years of experience and certifications. You should also ensure that you choose an immigration lawyer who you feel comfortable with. Make sure you have a positive relationship with the lawyer.
Written by Lee Newton