One of the most frustrating aspects of immigration law is how rapidly procedures change. Those seeking successful immigration often rely on the experience and immigration cases of loved ones to guide them, which is often a very critical mistake. Immigration law changes every month it seems, and it's all but impossible to maintain current.
Since immigration law is extremely complex and ever changing, it's in a person's best interest to consult with an immigration law attorney. These specialty lawyers are responsible for staying completely up to date on all aspects of federal law, and helping those seeking to immigrate.
An immigration attorney has many responsibilities when working with a client, and it is very important for a client or potential client to have a clear understanding of these duties. Here's a closer look at exactly what an immigration attorney does...
The very first step in working with any attorney is a free consultation, and it is no different here. The immigration attorney will need to know, via an interview or fact finding session, if they will be able to help. Normally, this free consultation is 45 minutes to 1 hour in length, enough time to ask questions, discover facts, and develop a comfort level. Each case is different, so it is important for both the lawyer and client to have an open, honest dialogue.
Next, the attorney is responsible for handling the ever increasing immigration paperwork and making sure you understand the entire process. It is important for the client to be actively involved in their case and not leave everything up to the attorney. The client will need to become somewhat educated about the immigration law process.
Also, the immigration attorney is responsible for understanding 100% of the pertinent facts in a client's situation. This is critical. The lawyer will be responsible for working directly with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) so it's vitally important the attorney is extremely thorough and extracts all necessary information from the client.
The INS is responsible for keeping out aliens with a criminal history, and it is the attorney's role to find out if their client is being completely direct and forthright. Obviously, it's in the attorney's best interest to do so, as there are severe penalties for both immigration law attorneys and their clients for withholding or falsifying important information.
The most important aspect of an immigration attorney's role is to make positive progress on the client's case. It is not unusual for these types of cases to bog down for one reason or another, in fact it's rare when a case is completely expedient with no problems whatsoever. As such, the attorney needs to actively communicate case status to their client, and make sure the client understands all timeframes and responsibilities involved. The attorney will make sure the client understands exactly who is responsible for what aspect of the immigration case, either the client or the lawyer.
To summarize, it is extremely important to find the right immigration attorney. Perhaps the very best step one can take is making absolutely sure you have the right attorney for your needs. Immigration law is very specialized, so your case needs to match up with their particular expertise, and there are many specialties within this type of law. A good match in this regard plus an open, honest dialogue between client and attorney will greatly enhance the chances for a successful immigration case.