If you’re planning on moving to the United States, you should consider hiring an immigration lawyer. Whether you are trying to become a permanent resident, a U.S. citizen, or stay for a temporary period on a visa, immigration law can get very complicated. While many cases go smoothly without a hitch, sudden developments can have you facing extensions to the your case or even deportation. 

What does an immigrant attorney do?

There’s a lot of paperwork and documentation that goes into immigrating to a new country. Unfortunately, miscommunications due to language differences can have a big hand in missing due dates or court dates. An experienced immigration lawyer helps you navigate the system by:

  • Preparing immigration paperwork in English for a client who speaks it as a second or third language
  • File all paperwork on top to avoid detention
  • Speak on their client’s behalf in court
  • Help their client make all necessary dates and defend them against detainment, arrest, or detention

Immigrant attorneys are not connected to the government or government entities. Attorneys are independent contractors, meaning they are their own business owners working on behalf of their  clients’ interests. Although anyone can hire an attorney to help with paperwork and getting necessary documents together, there are certain situations where you should contact an immigration lawyer immediately. These include:

  • Deportation proceedings have been started against you
  • You have already been deported from the United States and would like to come back
  • A past application to immigrate was refused
  • You are trying to immigrate to the U.S. or stay in the U.S. and have a criminal offense on record
  • The documents and paperwork that you must fill out and get together is too intimidating or too confusing
  • You are coming to request asylum in the United States
  • You are applying for a visa relating to business or investment
  • You need emergency assistance relating to immigrating to the United States or your immigration status

There are other situations in which an experienced immigration lawyer is either urgently necessary or at least extremely helpful, but this cover many of them.

What documents do I need to immigrate to the U.S.?

A lot of documentation goes into the immigration process. Some of these documents depend on life circumstances. For example, if you’ve never been married there’s no need to bring a marriage certificate. As a rule of thumb, these are all documents you should bring (though there may be more depending on your specific situation):

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Visa(s), if applicable
  • Marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Marriage termination documentation (for each previous marriage)
  • Criminal record, if applicable
  • Police certificate (separate from a record of criminal convictions)
  • Record of immigration violations
  • Military records
  • Proof of U.S. status and lawful entry
  • Sponsoring employer’s I-140 form
  • Petitioner documents, if a relative is petitioning for your immigration

If you need assistance with any of these forms, hire a competent immigration lawyer to help you through the immigration system and secure a visa. 

Thank you for reading our legal blog. We are Loit & Associates – Mexican Law Attorneys and Specialists. If you need legal assistance with your immigration case, our experienced lawyers can help.