Millions of people from countries around the world immigrate to the United States. If you’re also planning to move to the “land of opportunity”, you might be wondering if hiring an immigration lawyer is worth the cost. Well, the short answer is ‘‘yes’’!
While many simple immigration cases can be handled without legal representation, keep in mind that immigration is one of the most complicated areas of the law. And it can be difficult to achieve the American Dream without an experienced attorney who specializes in immigration law.
So whether you have questions about your application or the visa process, or you’ve received a deportation notification, hiring a lawyer is always a good decision. Read on to find out why! But before you go any further, check how much immigration lawyers usually charge.
How Much Should You Budget for Immigration Lawyer Fees?
Legal fees vary widely depending on the services you need. For example, hiring an attorney to help file a family-based immigration petition will be much less costly than hiring a lawyer to defend you in a deportation case. The fees can go up if the case involves many court appearances or complex defense strategies. Needless to say, if you need to appeal your case, you will have to pay even more.
Here are some typical legal fees:
Application for Employment Authorization (Work Permit): $300-500
Citizenship/Naturalization Application: $500-1,500
Family-Based Green Card Petition: $800-2,500
Employment-Based Petitions: $1,500-7000
Asylum Application: $1,000-6,000
Adjustment of Status Application: $600-2,500
Deportation Defense: $2,000-15,000
In general, immigration lawyers are not considered the most highly paid lawyers. They know that their clients often have difficulties, and adjust their fees accordingly. In fact, many lawyers charge flat fees for services, rather than an hourly rate. On the flip side, some attorneys might charge much more if they have many years of experience, work for larger law firms or in ‘‘expensive’’ U.S. cities such as New York or San Francisco.
An Immigration Lawyer Will Help Fill out Paperwork
Every visa and citizenship petition involves filling out forms and gathering documents. This is usually a complicated process, and without the help of a lawyer, you are more likely to make mistakes (and therefore find your application returned, delayed, or even rejected).
Your immigration lawyer will be able to collect necessary documents from you, fill out the paperwork, and make sure USCIS gets everything it needs for a proper application.
Simply put, hiring an experienced attorney reduces the risk of paperwork errors, saving you time and increasing your chances of success.
They Will Explain Your Options
Whether you’re obtaining a work permit in the United States, acquiring permanent residency or full U.S. citizenship, or something else, remember that you have options.
Your attorney will evaluate the facts of your particular case, explain all of the available options, help you normalize your status if possible and avoid certain mistakes that could lead to exclusion from entry into the U.S or deportation and a bar to re-entry.
Only an expert immigration attorney can guide you through this complicated process and help you make the right choices.
Your Lawyer Can Guide You Based on the Most Recent Changes
The U.S. immigration system is always changing, with rule revisions and adjustments made on a monthly basis. Thus there’s a lot you can easily and quickly miss if you have decided to handle your immigration case on your own.
Immigration attorneys constantly update their legal knowledge and are able to issue guidance based on the most recent developments in the law, which is why it’s best to consult a lawyer.
Hiring with AppearMe is EASY and FAST
Before you make the mistake of trying to handle your immigration case without legal representation, hire a pre-vetted immigration lawyer with the help of AppearMe for Consumers.