Immigration law is complicated. This is why only experienced and professional immigration attorneys are the best fit. After you have chosen the right immigration lawyer to help you solve your issue, what is next? Next, prepare for the first meeting with the immigration lawyer.
One of the ways to ensure that you and the lawyer speak the same language is to ask the lawyer questions. So, read on to find several questions you can ask an immigration lawyer during the first meeting.
Ask about the previous experience
It is essential that your chosen lawyer is specialized in immigration law and has experience in cases similar to yours. This is a guarantee that you have selected the right lawyer. It is highly recommended that you choose an immigration lawyer with an immigration law specialization and rich experience because this will guarantee capability and expertise when handling your case.
For instance, if you live in Rochester, New York, and intend to choose a lawyer based on your visa issue, you have to seek out immigration lawyers in Rochester who are specialized in visa cases.
Excellent lawyers can refer you to similar cases and the outcomes they achieved for their clients. Additionally, ensure that your lawyer is board certified. You can do this by performing research.
Ask about the best strategy that fits your case
After you have asked the immigration lawyer questions that will show his specialization and are satisfied with the answer, you can proceed to questions regarding your immigration case. During the initial consultation, you can tell the immigration lawyer about your aims and the kind of support you need to get.
When you ask the lawyer about the best strategy that fits your case, the lawyer will ask questions about your immigration history and the documents needed for submitting your application. The immigration lawyer will also check your eligibility and also the possibility of getting the outcome that you desire.
The immigration lawyer would also explain the strategy and process to employ during your case. If you want to understand more, you can ask them the following questions:
- What are your thoughts concerning my case?
- What is my chance of succeeding?
- What is my case timeline?
- What do you need from me to work on my case?
Ask if the lawyer belongs to the American Immigration Lawyers Association
Immigration law is a specialized field. Therefore you must employ the services of a trustworthy and reputable immigration lawyer. This is why you must ask the lawyer if the lawyer is a member of The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). A lawyer who is part of this association understands the current immigration updates, regulations, and best practices.
Though the AILA can be an excellent place to get recommendations for an attorney, membership doesn’t equate to the lawyer’s success record or experience. You can also search for lawyers through websites that have essential information and clients’ testimonials for lawyers.
Ask for the language you can communicate with your lawyer
It will be understandable if you don’t feel comfortable speaking English. It can be pretty hard to understand law terminologies, and this can become more complicated if you cannot correctly communicate with your lawyer.
So, you can ask if your lawyer is fluent in your native language. If the lawyer doesn’t speak your language, they can provide you with a native speaker of your language who can help in the interpretation.
Ask how frequently you and the lawyer would be in contact
After getting a lawyer, it is essential to follow your case and remain updated. Sometimes, the immigration process could take months or years before it can be successfully closed. This is another reason you must be able to communicate flawlessly with your lawyer.
You must understand that you are not only seeking a good immigration attorney but an available and approachable lawyer who doesn’t have many cases to deal with. The immigration lawyer should be able to spend time dealing with your case and getting feedback from you.
Ask the lawyer what your case will cost
This is another essential question you must ask your lawyer during the first meeting. When you consult with the lawyer, the lawyer will give you, in detail, an outline of what your case involves. This will enable you to understand the amount of work that is involved.
Therefore you will know the proper timeline of your expectation and what you should do. After this, your lawyer will discuss their charge and tell you what you are expected to pay. You can ask your lawyer to put this writing.
Usually, you cannot find out what it will cost before a consultation. The reason for this is that even immigration cases are usually different, and the level of work and the complexity will determine the price.
You can also ask your lawyer the following questions to understand the cost:
- What mode of payment do you charge? Installments or flat fees?
- What is the total cost of my case?
- Do you charge an additional fee for filing?
- Do you charge for emails, calls, or copies of documents?
When you have a clear understanding of the fee involved, you will be able to make informed decisions.
Ask the lawyer what actions or procedures he will undertake for your case
Another critical question to ask your immigration lawyer is who will file the paperwork and submit it for your case. You can also ask the lawyer who will attend the hearings or interviews for you.
This will let you remove any misunderstanding that might occur, and also, these actions and plans can be an essential part of your timeline.
During your first meeting with your lawyer, the aim is to discuss your case’s details and create a strategy to win your case. This is why you must build lawyer and client relationships and good communication. Additionally, you could make your case outline and get legal advice from an expert immigration lawyer.
But most people don’t know how to prepare for this first meeting. The first thing to do is choose the best lawyer that suits your case because immigration law is broad, and you would need an expert to get a chance of success. The above tips should help you choose the best lawyer for your case.