Looking for a free immigration consultation? Choosing the best immigration lawyer for your particular case is important. We are happy to speak to prospective clients, via phone, from all 50 states and around the world. The purpose of the free immigration consultation is to determine if our office would be qualified, and willing, to handle your case and, more importantly, if you feel comfortable working with the immigration lawyer. The consultation is handled personally by the immigration lawyer and can be by regular phone or any number of internet-based voice services such as Zoom, Whatsapp or Google Meet. While it is typical for the attorney to invest between 10 to 15 minutes in each consult, shorter or longer sessions may occur depending on the circumstances.
Free immigration consultation expectations
During the consultation, the immigration lawyer gathers pertinent information about your case including, but not limited to, the type of immigration benefit being sought, the location and nationality of the foreign national, prior immigration and criminal history, and any issues that could complicate the case. The prospective client is urged to inquire about, among other things, attorney qualifications, services offered, and the attorney fee structure. It may be necessary for the attorney to gather additional information from the prospective client before deciding whether to take the case, or how much the attorney will charge. In this case, the attorney will follow-up via email after the call.
There is never a fee for a brief consult. This is to the benefit of both the potential client and the lawyer. Immigration is an extremely complicated area of law and, in many cases, any one particular immigration lawyer may not handle all types of cases. Finding the right person to represent you for your case is similar to finding the right doctor to treat your specific disease – it would be unwise to hire a heart surgeon to treat your broken arm. By making immigration consults free, if the potential client’s case is not the type of case we handle, we can quickly point the person in the right direction without having to refund fees.
If the initial free consultation is not in-depth enough for a decision to made about representation, each participant will have to decide whether or not to pursue the matter further. For instance, if the lawyer must review client documents or perform legal research before making a decision, a fee may be charged to extend the consult. Alternatively, if the prospective client desires additional consultation sessions, he or she may be offered the option of a paid consult, typically in 30 minutes increments at the attorney’s normal hourly fee.
The immigration attorney offers the free consultation in order to provide prospective clients with a way to determine if representation by the particular attorney is right for them. You will NOT 1.) get free advice as to how to handle a particular case on your own; 2.) find out which forms or documents to file; or 3.) learn how to contact a particular government agency. These activities would all require an attorney-client relationship and the investment, by the immigration lawyer, of the time necessary to gather pertinent information from the applicant before answering case-specific questions. Not only should the lawyer be compensated for their legal work, but the brevity of the free consult does not allow for a thorough investigation of facts prior to giving advice.
Prepping for the Call
The success or failure of a free immigration consultation depends largely on the ability of the potential client and immigration lawyer to discuss all relevant particulars of the case in a very brief amount of time. In order to maximize the efficiency of the process, it is always advisable for the client to write down all of the issues they wish to discuss during the call. Although not essential, if the case involves more than one person, such as for a green card through marriage case, it is best to have both parties on the call. Providing the immigration lawyer with basic facts, in advance, can also help maximize the benefits of the call as he or she can zero in on pivotal issues.
While the questions posed by the immigration lawyer will likely vary based on case type and client circumstances, there are certain topics that are almost always discussed. For instance, in family immigration cases the criminal and arrest history of petitioner and all beneficiaries, prior immigration history of petitioner and all beneficiaries, and the financial situation of petitioner can have significant impact on a case. See the Poverty Guidelines for minimum sponsor income requirements. To maximize the benefit derived from the consult, it would be wise to have the answers to these questions ready during the consult.
All information obtained by the attorney during the consultation process is protected by the attorney-client privilege. It is always in your best interest to be as truthful and accurate as possible with the information you give the immigration lawyer. Further, unless you hire the lawyer to represent you for your case, you should never take action or refrain from taking action based on information you obtain during a consult. Since the lawyer has no way of knowing all the details that could affect your case, it is impossible for him or her to adequately advise you. Only after case initiation, review of complete client questionnaires and relevant documents can attorney offer legal advice.
The immigration attorney is flexible and generous with regard to client contact methods and hours and often takes calls and answers email even when not in the office. See the immigration lawyer contact page for more information.