DO I NEED AN IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY?
By: Attorneys Robert L. Reeves and Armineh Ebrahimian
Hundreds of thousands across the world attempt to immigrate into the United States each year. There are endless rules and regulations governing each step an immigrant or non-immigrant (i.e. visitor, temporary worker) must take to ensure lawful entry and maintenance of status. No matter how straightforward an immigration filing may seem initially, dealing with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (C.I.S.) can be a nightmare, requiring knowledge and skills that only a competent immigration attorney can provide.
Most who deal with the C.I.S. would agree that it is too often that applications are misplaced or left unadjudicated for months, sometimes years, on end. When laymen attempt to inquire about the status of their applications, they are often given the run around and told they need referrals from a separate department of C.I.S. Often times, the officers at C.I.S. have either too much on their plates to clearly explain procedures to an applicant, or simply do not know the answers. Applicants are sent to stand in a line that begins forming at ungodly hours of the morning and that is so long that it twirls around the C.I.S. building. They end up spending most of their day running from one corner of the huge Federal building to another, desperate for guidance.
Fortunately, attorneys are capable of inquiring about cases, regardless of the type of application. An attorney can sometimes solve your problem in just one day, such as those pertaining to obtaining or renewing employment authorization cards. Attorneys can inquire about immigrant petitions that have been pending too long or have not been scheduled yet. They can follow up on adjustment of status interviews, or pending advance parole applications. They can inquire about motions to reopen of previously denied applications or various other pending applications.
Furthermore, an immigration attorney will make certain that all the correct supporting documents have been submitted with your application, preventing unnecessary delays and impediments. As it is, C.I.S. suffers from chronic backlogs, leaving applicants anxiously waiting for a response while their lives are placed on hold. A competent attorney will ensure that your application is not filed away in some unknown cabinet of C.I.S., lost between thousands of other applications that are filed each month.
Most importantly, an attorney will protect the client from unfounded denials, unreasonable delays, or incorrect interpretation or misstatements of the facts of law. In wrongfully denied case, an attorney may seek immediate redress with a supervisor or by filing a motion to reconsider. If these remedies fail, the attorney can pursue relief before the Administrative Appeals Office, the Immigration Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals. And, if necessary pursue your case before the U.S. District Court for declaratory relief.
You will sleep better if represented by an established and reputable immigration attorney.