If you’ve moved to the United States or are planning to do so, an immigration lawyer can be of great assistance. They can help you secure a green card so you can work legally in the US and advise you on becoming an American citizen. Much of their work is done with families, advising and helping foreigners marrying a US citizen, and people who wish to join family members already living in the country.
Immigration lawyers also offer expert support to many other clients, such as students coming to the US to study, companies who want to move their business to America, people seeking political asylum, and undocumented immigrants who want to legalize their situation.
Immigration law covers a vast range of subject areas, with all sorts of policies, legislation, and regulations. Just to add to the complexity, new amendments, laws, and rulings are being issued all the time.
That’s why many people conclude that their best interests are served by working with an expert lawyer who understands all the complexities around immigration law. A specialist attorney can help, inform, and advise you on all the scenarios described above, along with many more.
The definition of immigration law is deceptively simple. It deals with legal issues around people leaving one country to stay, work, study, or live in another at the highest level. But in practice, immigration law is anything but simple.
As the US Government explains, immigration law is about Green Cards and residency, citizenship for you, your spouse, and your children, and renouncing or losing your citizenship. It can also include visas for business, educational reasons, and travel purposes, the diversity immigrant lottery program, asylum, deportation, illegal immigrant jobs, and much more besides.
Some aspects of immigration law are easy to understand and relatively hassle-free. Even then, a small mistake can have serious drawbacks, like a missed holiday or a lost job opportunity. In more complicated scenarios, the consequences can be serious and life-changing: separated families, jail, and deportation, for example. That’s why the services of an expert lawyer are so valuable. Here are some examples of how they can help.
There are different immigration processes, and a specialist lawyer will help you choose the most suitable route. They can also explain some of the more technical and involved areas of the law, particularly around families and children.
Did you divorce your US spouse before you’d secured your independent residency? Did you divorce and remarry, and now want to adjust your residency to reflect your new status? Or were you deported, perhaps forced to leave the United States, after your marriage ended? In all of these cases - and in many other situations too - an immigration lawyer may be able to help you in court. This is especially true if English isn’t your first language.
Sometimes immigration law overlaps with other legal processes. The courts take a very dim view of any immigrant convicted of a crime, even if it’s a minor offense. If you’re facing deportation for any reason - including committing an offense - an immigration lawyer can advise you on your options and possible ways to avoid deportation.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the agency responsible for immigration. As with any government department, it can sometimes be a bureaucratic nightmare working with USCIS, with numerous forms to fill in, requests for additional information, and documents to supply.
The process doesn’t always run smoothly, and mistakes and delays do happen. Suppose you’ve had a prior application denied, been waiting an unreasonably long time for a response, or suspect that a mistake has been made. In those cases, an immigration lawyer can often speed up the process or advise on how to resolve the issue.
This is a big one. Most people don’t realize that there are different types of US visas. Which one you need depends on your circumstances, with marriage or employment-based applications for permanent residency being the most common types.
Another typical example is when people want to change from a temporary to a permanent visa. Whatever your situation, an immigration lawyer will make sure you do everything right and avoid any unwelcome mistakes.
If you’ve been offered a job in the US, your new employer may not be set up to sort out your work permit. It can be tricky enough to go through that process, especially if you’re living outside America. A US-based immigration lawyer can help you secure your visa or green card quickly, efficiently, and stress-free.
Many people start to save themselves time and money by filling in the immigration forms themselves. But once they start the process, they soon realize just how complicated the paperwork and filings are. If that sounds like you, and you’re stuck, an immigration lawyer can help to get you back on track.
If your case is straightforward and there are no complications, you can navigate the immigration process independently. Still, it can take up a lot of your time; plus, it’s easy to make a mistake that can ruin your plans. If your time is precious, you may find that using a specialist immigration lawyer is quicker, more convenient, and safer.
That’s undoubtedly true with more complicated cases, like naturalization. Because a dedicated immigrant attorney knows the law inside out, they can anticipate and solve specific issues at the source and advise you on the best way to present your application.
The immigration process is stressful, time-consuming, lengthy, frustrating, and challenging. Often, the best way to make everything run more smoothly is to get legal help from an experienced immigration attorney. With their assistance, you can speed up the process, avoid mistakes, reduce your workload, and ensure your peace of mind.
By now, you’ve probably got the message that immigration law covers a vast area, is often highly complicated, and can have devastating consequences if you make a mistake. For those reasons, many people find that their best option is to have a dedicated, professional attorney at their side.