If you need immigration legal assistance in California, selecting the right attorney is a pivotal decision. To make the most informed and responsible choice, consider asking these ten essential questions to determine if a California immigration lawyer can meet your needs:
- What Is Your Experience in Immigration Law?
You want to feel confident in your prospective attorney’s success record. A seasoned California immigration lawyer has a good grasp of state and federal immigration laws, both from their own studies and from experiencing the laws in real-life scenarios.
- Have You Handled Cases Similar to Mine?
While every immigration case has its own set of unique nuances, there is a lot of value in being represented by someone who has already handled similar cases in the past. Any practices that they have used and found success with in previous cases can be applied to replicate the same type of success in your case.
- What Is Your Success Rate With Immigration Cases?
This is a vital question to ask. It is a bad indicator if the attorney is not willing to share this information or if they have lost a significantly larger amount of cases than they’ve won.
- What Will the Total Cost Be?
Immigration proceedings can take a while, depending on the level of complexity involved in your case. This can increase the overall cost of legal services. Be sure to inquire about costs upfront to avoid any surprise fees that could cripple your budget later.
- What Are the Potential Risks in My Case?
A good attorney is honest about what risks they foresee in advancing your case. Their honesty should be seen as a good sign, as it shows that they are not trying to make false promises or guarantees just to earn your business.
- How Will We Communicate and How Often?
Open communication is key to a successful attorney-client relationship. Be sure to ask about how frequently you could expect to receive updates and what their preferred method of communication is.
- Can You Provide Any References or Verified Testimonials?
Being able to hear a firsthand account from someone who already has had experience with a specific attorney can help validate your decision to hire them. It can give unbiased insight into the lawyer’s professionalism, wisdom, and reliability.
- Are You Familiar With the Latest Changes in Immigration Law?
Even if you don’t know the answers yourself, it’s still good to ask this question. If the attorney appears stunned or stumbles when answering the question, it could indicate that they are not keeping up with the laws as closely as they should be to effectively represent your case in 2023.
- What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning My Case?
You want to make sure that you don’t hire an attorney who is just going to advance a case through a standardized approach. See what their assessment of your case is and what suggestions they have to boost your chances of success.
- What Is Your Policy on Confidentiality?
Immigration matters can be deeply personal, and the fear of being exploited keeps many undocumented immigrants from even seeking legal counsel to begin with. Ask about what information remains under attorney-client privilege, and be sure this is all detailed in their scope of work and your contract.
Q: Should I Bring an Attorney to My Green Card Interview?
A: Yes, it is recommended that you bring your immigration attorney to your interview if you can. This is especially true if there are specific concerns that you have about your case. This allows your attorney to address these issues and give an opinion on them in real time.
While it is not mandatory, it could be a really beneficial idea to clarify any legal issues that could arise during the interview. This can provide the client with peace and relief, reducing any anxiety that typically arises from not knowing what type of questions will be asked.
Q: What Is the Most Compelling Evidence for a Green Card Interview?
A: The most compelling evidence will depend on what type of green card you are applying for. For marriage-based green cards, having photographs, joint bank statements, or any joint mortgage agreements can help demonstrate that the relationship is genuine and has been going on for an extended period of time.
If the green card is for employment, it will be helpful to show a job offer letter, employment contract, and any letters of recommendation from people you have worked with. Work with your attorney to ensure that all evidence is well-organized, recent, and relevant to your case.
Q: What Should You Not Do in an Immigration Interview?
A: Never lie or provide any misleading information. Honestly is crucial, and breaking your reputation of honesty, even once, can result in damaging repercussions that are hard to forget.
Another suggestion is to avoid showing up late. Punctuality is a positive trait and demonstrates how seriously you are taking the process.
Finally, avoid arguing or trying to appear confrontational with the interviewer. Maintain full respect and professionalism the entire time to keep the process running smoothly and avoid jeopardizing any aspect of your case.
Q: How Should I Dress for the Green Card Interview?
A: While there is technically no dress code requirement, it is advised that you treat the interview as you would for a potential job by dressing professionally. Try to avoid any overly casual attire like shorts and flip-flops. While you shouldn’t feel required to dress overly formal, like a professional business suit, opting for a business casual look can help illustrate your seriousness. Generally, your attire should communicate respect for the immigration process and the officials who are involved in making your request official.
Contact U.S. Law Center Today
If you are seeking immigration services before an interview for a green card, contact the experienced immigration law attorneys at U.S. Law Center today. Our reputable law firm has been supporting immigrants for years in this process, and we have the full legal authority needed to represent you before, during, and after your green card interview. We look forward to learning more about your case and how we can help.