Immigration Lawyers: What to Ask before you Hire

Immigration Lawyers

Finding the right immigration lawyer for your case is the first step towards achieving your immigration goals. The hard part is picking the right one! If you choose poorly, you could wind up with delays, lots of frustrations and even a refusal. It is therefore important that before hiring an immigration lawyer, you have to ask him or her the “right questions”

What to ask an Immigration Lawyer before hiring

The first thing to ask is: Are you licensed?

The reason you have to ask this is because only licensed immigration practitioners are qualified to represent you.  Unfortunately, there are many people out there posing as immigration professionals when they are not. It is essential that you make sure that whomever you choose to help you with your immigration case has the legal qualifcations to work for you.

You should also ask: Do you handle only immigration or also other areas of law?

This is an important question because if the lawyer you wish to hire works in other areas, that lawyer may not be an expert in immigration. Now this is not necessarily the case. There are many general practitioners who can certainly handle an immigration file. However, chances are that your interests would best be served by looking for lawyers who restrict their practice to immigration law only.

Have you handled my kind of immigration case before?

Once you are satisfied that the lawyer you are considering is licensed and has the general expertise in the field of immigration, you should inquire whether that lawyer has represented clients with a similar case as yours. This is important because while each case is unique, there are certain types of cases that are commonly handled by immigration lawyers. If that lawyer has experience in handling the type of case you are presenting, you may be on the right track.

What are your legal fees?

Obviously a big one! Always get this information up front and make sure you understand how much you will be paying, when you will be paying and what is the break down. Some of the fees you will likely pay will be government fees as well. The lawyer should have a retainer agreement prepared that outlines the legal fees and other costs.

What are my chances of success?

Also important question. No case is guaranteed. If a lawyer tells you that your case is guaranteed, run for the hills!  Having said that,  you want to know if your case has merit; will you get your visa, will you win your appeal. The lawyer you choose should be able to give you a fair assessment of your case, how long it will take and what is the likelihood that it will be successful.

Other Questions

There are many other questions to ask but I think the above ones mentioned are the essentials. Once you know that the lawyer you choose to represent you is licensed, has expertise in the area of law you practice,  and the fees and your odds of success are outlined, you are well on your way.