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When You Actually Need an Immigration Attorney

You don’t necessarily need an attorney when you apply for an immigrant green card or visa in America. If your case is simple, you are eligible for what you seek, and you don’t have a criminal record, you can perform all the processes without needing an attorney.

In fact, for those overseas, you’ll likely be unable to attend the consular interviews with a lawyer anyway. They’ll only be able to help you prepare the paperwork and communicate with the consulate.

However, several situations warrant an attorney’s help. Understandably, immigration law is complicated and has much more bureaucracy than many may initially think. So, read on to find out when you’ll need an immigration attorney to help you.

Let’s begin.

When you’re overwhelmed with the paperwork

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Immigration application in Hartford or other states in the U.S. involves gathering documents and filing forms to prove that you qualify. However, even simple applications have standard instructions you must adhere to.

When an error or mistake occurs, you’ll find your application rejected, delayed, or returned. In such situations, the best option is to employ the services of Hartford immigration lawyers who are experienced in dealing with such paperwork. They’ll have the knowledge to ensure your application process is smooth sailing.

When you don’t know the options you have

If, for example, you are a skilled worker, you may qualify for different green card types or multiple visas. However, it can be difficult for a layperson to understand the best choice or the fastest avenue for acquisition.

Using the services of an immigration attorney ensures that workers choose the best visa that suits the worker’s qualifications and the employer’s needs. This is also true for family-based visas or other types of green cards.

For example, a person who is engaged will usually decide where to get married first, and then enter the United States using an immigrant visa (usually with a swift right to a visa). On the other hand, you might also have the option of having a K-1 visa.

This visa will give you entry into the United States so you can get married, then later apply for a visa through a procedure known as an adjustment of status. Again, however, understanding the fastest type usually depends on processing times, processes involved, and current government fees.

When you keep running into delays

People also seek an immigration attorney when the consulate or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fails to approve or act on your immigration application. Most times, these reasons might be due to more bureaucracy than the law.

For instance, when an applicant moves from one state to another after filing a visa application, you might discover that the application the USCIS should have sent to the new location has not arrived or is missing inside the black hole of bureaucracy. Unfortunately, it’s common to come across such delays at the USCIS.

Though an attorney has little power in such situations, they can at least have inside access to inquiries. There, the lawyer will be able to seek answers to problems or delayed cases. Sometimes, it might even be hard for the attorney to get answers to his inquiry, but most times, it’s worth trying.

When your application is denied

A typical immigration legal issue that immigrants usually encounter is being met with claims by the consulate of the USCIS that their application is inadmissible. Several possible situations can lead to this.

Most typical instances would include evidence of a committed crime, financial instability resulting in the would-be immigrant being labeled a public charge, or a previous lie to the United States government. When any of the above situations apply, it’s in your best interest to seek an immigration attorney.

When an employer intends to employ foreign workers

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Most employers are busy people. The bulk of their time is spent on their business. For instance, an employer might intend to sponsor a worker for a visa that needs them to complete the PERM labor certification process. You will have to place an advertisement first.

This advertisement process might be complicated since it is a specific type of advert. In addition, the advert has specific language and involves many deadlines and time frames. So you can easily get it wrong.

Also, the PERM application is quite complicated. Therefore, most entrepreneurs might find it hard to fill out the form (the ETA Form 9089) correctly. Even a little mistake when filing it can result in your application being denied.

Several immigration attorneys are specialized in these matters. They can assist an employer throughout the PERM process and other work-related green card applications.

When you encounter removal proceedings

Also called deportation proceedings, these happen when the government believes your immigration status is invalid. Generally, proceedings are held before a judge in the form of a hearing.

The judge determines if evicting the person from the country is the best option. Such cases are severe and require immediate attention. You must speak with your lawyer immediately if you receive a Notice to Appear that requires you to show up in court.

An immigration lawyer can assist you with the procedures involved and advise you on navigating the issue. Such advice includes assessing your options, speaking with the appropriate agencies, providing the correct documents, and helping defend you in court appearances.

Final thoughts

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When you intend to relocate to the U.S., you’ll have to deal with the complicated immigration system. There are several reasons you’ll need the assistance of an immigration attorney. For example, you might be seeking lawful residency or citizenship, or even be trying to overcome the complicated immigration law process.

However, having a knowledgeable attorney by your side can make a difference and ensure you get the best results. They help you protect your rights and assist you in correctly completing paperwork.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com