Frequently Asked Questions about Immigration
Below are some questions that we get asked on a regular basis. If you can’t find the answers to your questions below, please call our office to speak to a U.S. immigration lawyer about your case.
Why do I need a U.S Immigration Lawyer?
Immigration law is one of the most complicated types of U.S. law and it is constantly changing. An experienced immigration lawyer knows the ins and outs of both the law and procedure, knows how to properly determine eligibility for each type of case, knows how to put together a successful application, and knows who to contact when there are delays or problems with a case.
Hiring an immigration lawyer makes the application process more efficient, helps you avoid making errors that could seriously impact your application and immigration status in the U.S., and will save you money and stress in the long run.
What are the Legal Fees for an Immigration Case?
Immigration lawyer fees vary greatly depending on the individual case. Some processes are very straightforward and do not involve complications. But other cases are more nuanced and require additional research, submissions, or applications.
In general, the immigration lawyer cost is a one-time flat-rate legal fee for each immigration application we are hired to prepare and submit. Depending on what type of immigration you hire us for, this fee could vary greatly. Unfortunately, we can’t provide a fee estimate until we perform a consultation to learn the specific circumstances of your case.
We typically provide a free 15 minute consultation for new customers.
What are the Ways to Immigrate to the U.S.?
There are many ways to immigrate to the U.S. and to change your immigration status, including for instance:
Family-Based Immigration: Allows U.S. citizens and permanent residents to sponsor certain family members to become permanent residents. Green cards through marriage and through fiance relationship would be included here.
Employment Based Immigration: Allows workers of varying skill levels to temporarily enter and work in the U.S. in a variety of distinct fields. An employer can also sponsor an immigrant to become a permanent resident if they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Student Visas: Allows individuals to study in the U.S. on a temporary basis, and in some cases to extend their study for practical training in the workplace.
Naturalization: Allows permanent residents of the U.S. to become U.S. citizens, as long as they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Humanitarian benefits: Allow individuals undergoing exceptional circumstances to either live and work temporarily in the U.S. or to become permanent residents. Some examples of types of humanitarian benefits are:
- Asylum: Allows individuals fleeing certain types of persecution to work and live in the U.S., as well as to eventually become permanent residents.
- Temporary Protected Status: Allows individuals from designated countries to stay in the U.S. while their home country is determined to be unsafe due to a natural disaster, ongoing armed conflict, or other extraordinary circumstance.
Temporary Work Visas: H-1B, H-2B, L-1, O-1, E-3
Self-petition: National Interest Waiver, EB-1A
EB-5: Green cards for investors
Diversity Visa or DV Lottery: It is your U.S. immigration lawyer’s job to thoroughly evaluate your needs and help you navigate the intricacies of the immigration system so you can obtain the immigration benefit you need.
How Long does the U.S. Immigration Process take?
The length of time any immigration process takes varies greatly depending on the type of application involved, potential complications (if any), and other individual characteristics pertaining to your case.
Although we cannot guarantee how long the process will take until we have thoroughly reviewed and begun work on your case, as your U.S. immigration lawyers, speed up the process to the best of our ability.
I Would like to File a Visa Application. How Does the Process Work?
The first step, before filing any type of application, is to have a licensed U.S. immigration lawyer evaluate your case. U.S. immigration law is very complicated. Therefore, it is important to have an experienced immigration lawyer review everything in order to help you figure out what you are eligible to apply for, what your best options are, and to help you do things correctly the first time.
This is where we come in. Our immigration lawyers have a tremendous experience in immigration law and we are dedicated to helping you get the immigration benefit you need while making the process go as smoothly as possible.
If you contacted us, one of our immigration lawyers would meet with you for either an in-person consultation or a phone consultation to evaluate your options. At the end of that consultation, we would let you know what you are eligible to apply for and we would discuss your options. Or, if you had a very complicated case, you could hire us to conduct a more in-depth case evaluation.
If you chose to hire us to do either a case evaluation or a full case for you, the next step would be to work with our attorneys and paralegals to start collecting all of the documents and drafting all the forms you would need to file your application. Once the forms were finalized and we had all the appropriate supporting documentation, we would submit the application to immigration.
After that, you would receive a document from USCIS confirming the submission and assigning your case a specific number. Using this number, you would be able to track the progress of your application.
Depending on the type of application you filed, you would then be scheduled for an interview. Some applications do not require an interview and are reviewed entirely on the contents of the application packet. However, if an interview was required, our lawyers would help you prepare for that interview. We would either attend the interview with you (if it was in Boston or New England) or prepare you to go on your own (if the interview location was not in New England or if it was outside the U.S.).
Some processes are more complex and require multiple steps with multiple submissions. If that was the situation with your case, all of the steps would be laid out for you, explained to you, and we would help guide you through each of them. We handle a wide variety of immigration cases – cases for people already in the U.S. who would like to change their status, cases for people abroad who would like to come to the U.S., and cases for people in immigration court who need help preventing their deportation.
Our goal as your immigration attorneys is to help make your life easier and less stressful by providing you with high-quality legal advice and excellent customer service.