Immigration Attorney Consultations: What to Expect

If you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business in the United States or you are an employee or employer looking to expand your talent pool by hiring foreign workers, it’s important that you consult with an immigration attorney to make sure you stay on the right side of the law. 

Do Immigration Attorneys Charge for Consultations?

The consultation is the first opportunity for you to meet with an attorney. This is a chance for you to explain your situation and see if the Immigration law attorney has experience in similar situations and is able and willing to take on your case. Most immigration attorneys like the ones from Danielle cohen immigraion firm UK do charge for a consultation. This might be $100, it might be $300, it really depends on the attorney, how big the law firm is, and where you are located. Obviously people who work in major cities like New York and Los Angeles will charge more for their services compared to someone who works in a rural area. That said, consultations can be particularly important as not every attorney with whom you speak is necessarily going to be the right attorney for you. If you are looking for recommendations on the right attorney, you can always start with a consultation and ask for referrals or recommendations from that attorney if you decide not to pursue a professional relationship together. Moreover, many attorneys who charge for the consultation utilize that as part of your flat fee if you decide to go forward.

For example:  If the attorney charges $9,000 for your case and they charge $300 for the consultation, should you decide to move forward, your remaining balance could be $8,700. 

This all depends on the attorney and it’s something that you could have answered during your consultation.

Can I do my immigration paperwork myself?

You might come across situations where an attorney allows you to split some of the work so that you can reduce your cost. This is something you can discuss during the consultation. Splitting the work would mean that you handle more menial tasks filling out paperwork and finding evidence for your application, and you simply use the attorney to review everything at the end and make sure there are no mistakes before you submit it.

Bear in mind, there are some attorneys who will not sign off on documentation they did not prepare themselves so not every Immigration lawyer is willing to do this, but it is something you can discuss.

Why do I need an attorney when I can find answers online?

There are many answers you can find online. The state department and Department of Homeland Security provide very comprehensive introductory articles and content online with links to applicable forms. However, the language used can be complicated and understanding the nuances as it applies to your specific case can be equally complicated. Moreover, much of the content found online might not be accurate and inaccurate information found online can delay the chance of you getting immigration benefits or result in your entire case being dismissed. This is why the office of immigration in Australia released a Media review & Response as there have been many fraudulent attempts to discredit them. Your application also requires a very comprehensive knowledge of recent legal changes and how those legal changes apply to your situation, something that you might not get with an online blog post dated six years ago, so make sure to verify your sources.

What is the AILA and does it matter?

AILA is an acronym which stands for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. This is a National Organization one that many of the best immigration attorneys are a part of. This organization provides attorneys with legal advice, resources, and education so working with an attorney who is part of it means they have access to useful information that might help with your case. 

That said, being a member of the organization does not necessarily mean that the attorney is experienced. The organization has over 15,000 members, and joining does not come with requirements for competency or experience. Members pay to be a part of the organization, so someone who isn’t a member of the organization is not necessarily a bad attorney nor is someone who is automatically a good one. This is why it is important to use the consultation to speak to them about their memberships, experience, education, and so forth.