An immigration consultation is a meeting between you and an immigration lawyer. The lawyer will ask you questions about your case and give you their professional opinion on your chances of success. Preparing for your consultation is vital so you can make the most of your time with the lawyer. A good lawyer from a law firm like Lincoln-Goldfinch Law will ensure that you are well-prepared for your consultation. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your immigration consultation:
1. Gather All Relevant Documents And Make Copies For The Attorney
These may include your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, children’s birth certificates, transcripts, employment records, and any other relevant documentation to your case. They will help you assess your case and give you an idea of what to expect. The attorney may also ask you for additional documents, so it is crucial to be prepared.
2. Make A List Of Questions For The Attorney
Prepare a list of questions in advance to make the most of your time with the lawyer. Some questions you may want to ask include:
-What are my chances of success?
-What are the risks involved?
-What are the next steps?
-What are the costs involved?
-How long will the process take?
These questions and more will help you better understand your case and make informed decisions.
3. Be Honest With The Attorney
It is crucial, to be honest with your attorney about your case. Withholding information or providing false information can jeopardize your chances of success. The attorney needs to know all the facts to provide accurate information and advice. That means being honest about your criminal history, employment history, and anything else that may be relevant to your case.
4. Be Prepared To Pay The Consultation Fee
Most attorneys charge a consultation fee, so be prepared to pay this in advance. The consultation fee is generally used to cover the cost of the attorney’s time, so it is essential to be respectful of their time and be prepared to pay for it. Some lawyers can be very costly; if you can not afford legal fees, you should speak to the lawyer in advance; many offer a sliding scale or payment plans. You can also opt for a pro bono lawyer, which means the lawyer will not charge you for their time.
5. If You Have A Criminal Record, Get A Copy Of Your Criminal History
If you have a criminal record, getting a copy of your criminal history in advance is crucial. This will help the lawyer assess your case and give you an idea of what to expect. It is essential to be upfront about your criminal history so the lawyer can give you accurate information and advice. A criminal history may not necessarily disqualify you from immigration, but disclosing this information to your lawyer is essential. It will help the lawyer prepare your case and give you the best possible chance of success.
6. Know your Goals
Before you meet with the lawyer, you must know your goals. What are you hoping to achieve through the consultation? Are you hoping to get a better understanding of your case? Are you hoping to get advice on what to do next? Knowing your goals in advance will help you make the most of your time with the lawyer. That will also help the lawyer prepare for your consultation and give you the best possible advice.
7. If You Don’t Speak English, Bring Someone Who Can Translate
If you don’t speak English, bringing someone with you who can translate is essential. The lawyer will need to communicate with you to understand your case and give you accurate information. This is especially important if you have a complex case. You can also go for a lawyer who speaks your language as they will be able to understand your case better.
8. Bring A Friend Or Family Member For Support
You may want to bring a friend or family member to your consultation for support. This person can take notes, help you remember what was discussed, and provide emotional support. It can be helpful to have someone with you who can offer a different perspective on your case.
9. Take Notes During The Consultation
It can be helpful to take notes during the consultation to remember what was discussed. That is especially important if you have a complex case or if there is a lot of information to remember. Taking notes will also help you remember what questions to ask later. It will also be helpful to record what was discussed in case you need to refer back to it later.
A consultation with an attorney can be a helpful way to get started on your immigration case. It is crucial to be prepared for the consultation to make the most of your time with the lawyer. That means being honest about your case, being prepared to pay the consultation fee, and knowing your goals. If you don’t speak English, bring someone with you who can translate. You may also want to bring a friend or family member for support. It’s important to correctly fill out Form I-864A (Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member) if you want to petition a family member for a green card.