The following article was researched and written by legal intern Jack B.
Immigration is a complex area of law and can often be confusing for many people looking to either move to the United States, bring a relative to the United States, or hire a temporary worker from outside the United States. An attorney can facilitate this process, making it easier, faster, and less expensive. However, an attorney is not always required; so, how do you know if you need an attorney for immigration?
If you or a relative intend to stay in the country for less than 90 days, the process does not require an attorney. In fact, under these circumstances, a visa may not even be required. The United States’ Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) allows travelers from certain countries to stay in the US for up to 90 days. However, those traveling from countries not on the VWP list still need to obtain a visa.
Here are some of the main cases in which we recommend hiring an attorney:
- Bringing a family member to the US (Form I-130)
- Bringing a spouse or fiancé to the US (Form I-130A, I-129F K1, 2 or 3)
- Applying for US Citizenship (Form N-400)
- Hiring a nonimmigrant worker (H-1B, H-2A, H-2B)
- Hiring a nonimmigrant religious worker for a nonprofit religious organization (R-1)
In many other scenarios, an attorney is either required or needed to help facilitate the process. If you are temporarily moving to the United States to work for a company, you should consult with an immigration attorney if your employer is not offering help. On the other hand, if you are an employer and want to hire an overseas worker, you will need an attorney to fill out the necessary forms.
If you are seeking asylum from your home country due to any reason, you need to contact an attorney. Additionally, if you have been deported from the United States, or if such motions have begun against you, a consultation with an immigration attorney is the best way forward.
If the paperwork, documents, forms, or any terms are confusing, or if the process is taking too much time and is becoming overwhelming, reaching out to an attorney for assistance is your best option.
After determining whether an attorney is required, you should meet with various attorneys and pick the one that is best for your goals. During the initial consultation, be prepared to bring all your documents. Be sure to bring all of your questions as well. This will help the attorney to make this process as easy and transparent as possible.
Immigration can be challenging and stressful, but it does not have to be.
This post is not legal advice but for informational purposes only; consult with a qualified attorney for advice about your situation. A signed contract is required to become a client of the firm.
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