Migrating to Bellevue is already much work. Combining planning, shopping, moving, and other stuff with the immigration processes can take a toll on someone. Hence, some people prefer to hire immigration attorneys for help.
Hiring an immigration lawyer Bellevue offers makes things easier and gives you a higher chance of success with your immigration process. Scouting for the right lawyers is work; therefore, you should make it worthwhile by choosing the right one.
One way to decide is by asking the right questions and weighing their answers. You should prepare questions to ask your prospective lawyer before meeting them. This article compiles a list of questions to ask an immigration attorney.
Things to ask an immigration attorney before hiring
Immigration fraud is a common issue that immigrants face, especially when they work with acclaimed “immigration” attorneys or underqualified ones. You can scrutinize prospective immigration attorneys by asking the right questions.
Here are some things to ask an immigration attorney before hiring them.
Ask about previous experiences
Before meeting an immigration attorney, you should have researched them. That way, you will know about their work history. However, asking them about their previous experiences during your meeting doesn’t hurt.
Immigration law is vast, so you should ask them about their area of specialization. Do they deal mainly with green card applications, work visas, or other cases?
This will help confirm whether they have enough experience dealing with similar cases. You can tell their experience with the way they refer to previous cases and the results they achieved.
Ask whether they are a member of the state bar association
Another question to ask an immigration attorney is whether they are a member of the state association bar. Immigration law is the same throughout the United States, so the prospective lawyer’s location isn’t that important.
However, it might be if your case requires that you appear before the local USCIS office or local immigration judges, you’re better off with a lawyer practicing in that locality. A local immigration attorney will be more aware of court policies and obstacles, and they can suggest how to navigate them.
Ask whether they are a member of AILA
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is a reputable association with which you can judge the genuineness of a lawyer’s credentials. You should ask whether the prospective immigration attorney is a member. If they are, it shows that they’re up-to-date with immigration laws, regulations, updates, and best practices.
You can also check through the AILA website to confirm whether they are a member of immigration law attorneys. While AILA is a reputable organization, it doesn’t guarantee the attorney’s success record or experience. Therefore, you should confirm that by checking their online review and asking about their experience during the meeting.
Ask for their opinion about the best strategy for your case
You should also ask the attorney about what they think the best strategy for your case is. A good immigration lawyer will identify possible actionable plans, timelines, and steps that will contribute to your case’s success.
In addition, they will identify potential risks and prospective solutions should those risks arise. The strategy should cover the timeline documentation, interview preparation, and affidavits.
Ask about your prospects for success
Present your case to the attorney during the meeting and ask about your prospects of success. A good immigration attorney will not give you false hopes or paint the wrong ideas. They should be realistic about the success rate for your case.
In addition, they should be able to present plans and strategies that will guarantee success. However, you must be honest about your situation for that to happen.
Ask for the procedure and actions they will take on your behalf
Another thing to ask your immigration attorney is to inquire about the actions and procedures they will take on your behalf. Ask them which paperwork they will complete and submit on your behalf.
In addition, you should ask them who will attend the hearings and interviews to avoid misunderstandings when your case is going on.
Ask about who will represent you
Asking which lawyer will represent you is important if you’re hiring a law firm. The person you meet may have nothing to do with the case, so you should clarify.
In addition, you should ask who you will communicate with throughout the procedure. Ensure you meet with the lawyer assigned to your case.
Ask about the language to communicate with
Effective communication is key to a successful relationship. It will also contribute to the success of your case. If you are more comfortable speaking in your native language, you should ask the lawyer.
Ask if they are fluent in your language and if they can speak in simpler English if otherwise. They can also have an attorney fluent in your native language take over your case.
Ask how frequently you will be in contact
Constant and adequate communication will contribute to your success. Therefore, you should ask how often you will communicate with the attorney. You can determine how much attention they will pay to your case by their answer.
Immigration processes could take months or years, and your case may suffer without proper communication. You shouldn’t work with someone overwhelmed with many cases and may not have enough time to dedicate to yours.
Ask about the service cost
One question you should ask an immigration attorney is how much the service will cost. Ask about their charge and the cost of the whole process. An experienced attorney should know visa and permit costs and other expenses like DNA tests, couriers, or translations.
In addition, you should ask about your responsibilities towards paying for some of the government filings. Don’t forget to ask about payment plans.
Ask whether there will be a contract
Contracts are necessary for most legal relationships, so you shouldn’t skip the contract question. The contract should describe and direct you and the attorney’s roles, expectations, and obligations.
Once that’s settled, ask about the next steps after the contract signing. You should always ask your lawyer this question after completing a step.
Asking your prospective immigration lawyer questions is necessary to examine their competency and how beneficial your relationship with them will be. Ensure you ask the right questions and get satisfactory answers.
You can always meet up with another lawyer if the initial one doesn’t meet your standard. That’s better than losing your case or worsening your chances.