La semana pasada hablé sobre la crisis humanitaria para los refugiados afganos, así que hoy quiero abordar la crisis…
How to Choose an Immigration Attorney
Three-Step Process in Choosing the Right Attorney
Immigration is a long and complicated process, and hiring an immigration attorney can make the difference between waiting and having your application denied, and making sure all legal issues regarding your petition are settled. To know how to choose the right immigration lawyer for your case, you need to have an understanding of what they can do and how they can provide legal assistance for your visa petition, green card application, or green card renewal.
Here’s the U.S.A. three-step process we follow at Andres Mejer Law that you can use to know which immigration attorneys can help you get legal status.
- U – How can you qualify for legal status?
- S – Will they do a search of your past to reveal if something can disqualify you?
- A – How can we fix it so you can achieve legal status?
1. Qualifying for legal status
When choosing which clients to take, many attorneys only look for the types of cases, such as a family-based petition. They don’t treat it holistically or look at all the options an immigrant has to be qualified for a visa or permanent residency. Instead, other immigration attorneys just do the ones that they know or cases that they like. Most won’t even consider whether their clients can get green cards through for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJ), or if they’re eligible for a U-visa.
Unfortunately, this results in those attorneys telling their clients that you don’t qualify, or that there’s nothing they can do about your immigration case. Many immigrants give up on their dreams, and don’t speak to an attorney for years until someone convinces them to. Even if they figure out the correct type of case they can file for under immigration laws, very few attorneys go to the next step.
2. Conducting a search
Even if they figure out the correct type of case for your immigration problems, very few attorneys successfully go to the next step, which is to search your past for anything that may disqualify you.
There are many things under immigration law that can prevent you from achieving permanent resident status, including:
- orders of removal;
- prior criminal conduct;
- multiple entries;
- debt from back taxes or unpaid taxes;
- debt from child support; or
- prior fraud against the government.
Most attorneys will accept your case and charge you first, and only later realize that they can’t help you because of something from your past that disqualifies you. They put the onus on you, and blame the client for not disclosing the information sooner. Some may inform their clients to choose between continuing with the immigration process despite the risk of not being qualified, or do nothing and remain as they are now. Most immigrants choose to not to do anything, which means the money that they’ve spent for their case so far goes to waste.
Almost no attorney goes to the third step, and they definitely won’t do it before you’ve even hired them.
3. Fixing your past
At Andres Mejer Law, we partner with criminal defense attorneys and family law attorneys to help you fix the mistakes of your youth.
Too often, we’ve found an immigrant who pleaded guilty when they first came to the US, without getting an attorney and understanding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea. Things like shoplifting can be more easily addressed and fixed, but more serious matters such as possession of drugs have bigger consequences.
We do everything we can to fix your past mistakes and help you achieve legal status in the US. We have reopened removal orders, reopened criminal cases, and helped clients get on payment plans with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or for overdue child support.
If there is a way to fix your past, we will find it.
Call Andres Mejer Law today
Here at Andres Mejer Law, we are passionate about helping immigrants. Every one of our employee’s jobs is critical to your immigration journey, which is why we make sure that from the moment you speak with us on the phone, you’ll get an experience that will help you trust us enough to make an appointment, meet with us, and ultimately hire us to solve your problem.
Immigrants face a lot of challenges throughout their process of immigration, such as in:
- Visa applications for work visas or other immigrant visas;
- Getting a green card and going through the green card process; and
- Applying for a refugee status or temporary protected status.
No matter what challenges you face in your immigration journey, choose an immigration attorney that follows the U.S.A three-step process. At Andres Mejer Law, you can rest assured that your immigration case gets the attention and action it deserves. Call us today and schedule a strategy session to discuss how you can best achieve legal status.