How much does an immigration lawyer cost? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions of immigration attorneys worldwide, so today we’re giving you an answer to that and a few other hot topics…
How Much Does An Immigration Lawyer Cost and Other Questions
Q: How Much Does An Immigration Lawyer Cost?
A: This is a question we have answered here before, but let’s do a quick recap for any of you who missed it.
There are many factors that go into how much you could pay your attorney to represent you. These include:
- The type of case you are dealing with. For example, are you facing possible deportation as the result of a crime that you committed? Or are you simply seeking help filling in paperwork for a visa application?
- How simple is your case? Are there multiple circumstances that require additional paperwork?
- Where do you live? Busy cities with a higher cost of living means that a lawyer is likely to charge higher hourly rates or flat rates.
- How experienced and reputable is the attorney? Highly reputable attorneys with more experience are going to charge higher rates than newer practicing attorneys.
Q: What Kind of Visa Do I Need?
A: One of the many reasons that people hire an immigration attorney is to get help filing visa paperwork. There are many different visa applications , and some of those applications take longer to complete and have different requirements. If you don’t know what type of Visa you need – or even if you think that you know – it’s best to talk to an experienced immigration attorney who can help you to determine what the best approach for your application is.
For example, you may think that one type of visa is the right version for you to file for, when your attorney hears the details of your situation, they may tell you that you’ll have a better chance to be granted a visa under another category of visa based on the current situation in the country and any recent changes to immigration policy.
Q: Once I Get My Green Card, Do I Need to Renew It?
A: Yes. A green card has to be renewed every ten years. You MUST renew your green card before the expiration date on your current card.
Q: I Am Being Threatened With Deportation, What Should I Do?
A: If you are being threatened with deportation, it’s imperative that you retain an attorney NOW. Your attorney will be able to help you to navigate the current situation and determine what the best path of action for you is depending on your current circumstances.
Q: I Have Been Arrested, What Should I Do?
A: If you are an immigrant (legal or otherwise) and have been arrested, the first thing you need to do is to contact an attorney. Do not say anything until you have an attorney present who can help you to navigate tricky legal waters. You are in a precarious position and anything that you say can be used against you even if you thought that what you were saying was completely innocent.
Q: What is a Retainer?
A: When talking to some attorneys, you may hear them mention a retainer. A retainer is an amount of money that you use as proof of your ability to pay an attorney for their service. For example, if an attorney has a $2,000 retainer, you would pay that $2,000 and that money would be used toward your payment to the attorney. Now, the money is still yours, meaning that if your attorney only bills you for $1,000 worth of work, the remaining $1000 would be returned to you.
A retainer is used as a financial guarantee to show your attorney that you are capable of paying for their service.
Not all attorneys require retainers. Attorneys that work on a flat fee basis – for example, assisting someone with visa paperwork may be $X and that is all they pay for that service – do not request retainers because they charge a specific amount. Attorneys that charge clients on an hourly basis, however, usually do ask clients to pay a retainer.
Q: Can An Immigration Attorney Guarantee That They Will Win My Case?
A: No. Every single court case has mitigating factors. Your attorney can use their experience and their knowledge of the law to tell you what the best course of action in your case is and how they expect their approach to the case to turn out. No attorney can guarantee a specific outcome in a case, though, and if any attorney does tell you that they guarantee to win your case, you may want to question their ethics. There are no guarantees and there are no “sure things.”
Q: Do I Really Need a Lawyer?
A: Yes. Unfortunately, the American immigration system is very confusing and it is continually changing which makes it even more confusing. It is an immigration attorney’s job to know the current law and upcoming changes that may affect their clients. Instead of trying to guess what legal speak means or assuming that certain laws are still as they were written and have not been amended, you should ALWAYS consult an immigration lawyer.
Have More Questions About Immigration Lawyer Cost or Something Else?
If you have more questions about immigration lawyer cost or something else pertaining to immigration lawyers in California, Nelson and Associates can help. Just give our office a call today at 626-683-3451 to see how we can help you!