Coming to America

Coming to America: When Do You Need to Call Immigration Lawyers?

Are you an asylum seeker who is frustrated by the long process? Perhaps you’re facing a green card renewal and don’t know if you can renew your status. 

Regardless of the circumstance, immigration lawyers can help you. 

The benefits of an immigration attorney include faster processing of your application and a stronger chance of victory. Statistically, you stand a higher chance of winning your case with an immigration lawyer. Above all, they will help you invoke your rights, and they will champion your rights in court.

This article will show you when to call an immigration attorney. Read further to know more.  

Seeking Asylum 

It’s time to contact an attorney if you have complications with your asylum status. As an asylum seeker, you must persuade immigration authorities that you need asylum due to extreme circumstances. 

These circumstances may involve persecution due to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs. Many asylum seekers also seek asylum to escape ongoing violence in their home countries. 

To be considered for asylum, you must apply within one year, and the application is free. With that, convincing authorities can be tough, and the process can be long and arduous.

In many cases, the asylum process can take six months, but cases can last as long as several years. To receive asylum, you must attend a court hearing. Immigration courts are contending with a backlog of hearings, and it may take months or years before a judge hears your case. 

However, an immigration attorney can hasten the process. Many asylum seekers don’t know the steps needed to process their applications faster. Immigration lawyers know the steps involved and will ensure you meet all the necessary deadlines.

Additionally, they can help you bring in family members from your country of origin. Under U.S. laws, you cannot bring over family members until you gain asylum. 

If you’re granted asylum, you’re free to apply for a green card. From there, an attorney can walk you through the steps of getting a green card.

Green Card Eligibility

Depending on your immigration status, you may not know if you’re eligible for a green card. A green card allows you to stay and work in the United States. Also, you must renew the card every ten years. 

You can get a green card if any of the following applies to you:

  • You’re the spouse or family member of a U.S. citizen
  • You’re the family member of a permanent resident
  • You’ve gained a green card via employment
  • You’re an asylum seeker or refugee who received asylum (for at least one year)
  • You’re the victim of abuse
  • You’re a victim of human trafficking

If you don’t fall into these categories, the process can get trickier. However, talk to an immigration attorney about your case to see if you qualify. 

They can tell you if you’re eligible based on your situation. From there, they can tell you how to apply.

Long Waits

Overall, the green card process can take anywhere from seven months to two years. Additionally, the process depends on what type of visa you’re getting. Green cards come in the form of:

  • Family-Based Green Cards: The process will take anywhere from one to ten years and depends on annual quotas.
  • Employment Green Cards: This process can take between one to four years and varies on yearly quotas.
  • Immediate Relative Green Cards: This process is faster than other green card applications, with officials reviewing applications in as little as a few months in many cases.
  • Diversity Green Card: This process entails a lottery system, and the winners will receive notification within seven months. Also, the process can take another half year. 

In extreme cases, an immigration case can last for decades, which is unacceptable if you’re an older applicant. The reasons for the long wait include new policies and/or annual caps.

If you’re waiting too long, it’s time to contact an immigration attorney. They can follow up on your application status and ensure it doesn’t remain in limbo. They can also convey what paperwork you’ll need throughout the application process. 

Committing a Crime

A conviction can affect your immigration status. Depending on the crime, you could be eligible for deportation. 

  • Example: Aggravated offenses usually trigger expedited deportation. 

Further, immigration law may deem misdemeanors as an aggravated felony, which are grounds for deportation. Besides aggravated cases, officials can deny your application if you have drug offenses or moral turpitude offenses on your record. Moral turpitude refers to cases involving murder, rape, or fraud.  

Additionally, immigration law has a broader definition of a conviction. Even if you plead guilty, you can still face deportation.

Also, a public defender or a defense attorney may tell you that a plea bargain wouldn’t count as a conviction on your record. According to the eyes of immigration law, however, plea bargains work against you. 

For these reasons, a standard criminal defense lawyer isn’t enough. You also need an immigration attorney who knows about immigration law. If you’re facing deportation, immigration attorneys can defend you in court.

That said, you can benefit from the services of a defense lawyer and an immigration lawyer at the same time. If you need a lawyer for your criminal or civil case, go to

The Importance of Immigration Lawyers

Immigration lawyers specialize in immigration law, and it’s a specialty that not many attorneys have. You’re five times more likely to win your case with an immigration lawyer.

They can help clients dealing with green card cases, asylum cases, refugee cases, or criminal cases. Since the immigration process can be fraught with delays and setbacks, you need legal counsel who can expedite the process faster.

Interested in learning more? Read more on our website to gain insight into other topics. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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