7 Questions to Ask An Immigration Attorney

When you first call or meet with an immigration attorney, it can be hard to know what questions to ask them–especially if you are unfamiliar with immigration law. Asking the right questions can help you determine if a particular immigration attorney is right for you, develop a strong, working relationship with your attorney, and move your case forward.  The more questions you ask, the better off you will be.

Top Questions to Ask An Immigration Attorney

Having questions about payment, timeline, the process of immigration, both for temporary or permanent residence, and so on is perfectly normal!  Immigration can be stressful and confusing.  If you don’t understand something ask! And don’t feel like your questions are a bother to your attorney! You are helping both of you by asking as many questions as possible.

Your attorney should listen to you and your concerns–that is part of their job. Here are a few suggestions for what questions to ask:

  1. “What sort of experience do you have?”

    You can follow up on this question by asking things like, “How long have you been practicing immigration law?” “Have you worked on cases like mine before”?” What sort of experience dealing with government officials and courts do you have?” If you are dealing with US immigration law, you should also ask your attorney if he or she is a member of AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association)

  2. “What will you do to help me?” 

    Immigration law is about more than just filling out forms and writing letters.  Find out how your attorney plans work for you, and how you can help them. Ask them what they will do after  your application is filed to ensure that it is processed in a timely manner and to improve your chances of success.

  3. “What do you need from me?”  

    Take an active role in working with your attorney!  Figure out what they need from you and get it to them on time, or even better, well ahead of schedule.  Ask your attorney what sorts of forms or paperwork you might need to bring in and what you can do to make the process go more smoothly, and both of you will be happier for it.

  4. “What sort of timeline should I expect?”

    Immigration can be a complicated and difficult process.  You might not know what to expect or how long things will take.  Your immigration attorney can help you by (a) helping you think about the timeline of the process as a whole and (b) thinking about how long particular steps along the way will take.  This will help you as you make plans and move forward with your immigration.

  5. Is this the best type of application for my case?” 

    You and the immigration lawyer have different sets of knowledge. You know your circumstances better than anyone else and it is important for you to communicate them to your lawyer. Your lawyer knows immigration law and has insight into what will work for you. You might think one form is best, while your attorney might know of one that will meet your needs better

  6. “Where and when should I file?”

    It is important that you apply at the correct  immigration office or border crossing.  If you do not, you may encounter delays, complications, or even refusals of your application.  Your immigration lawyer understands the law and can help you figure these sorts of details out.

  7. “How will we communicate?” 

    Communicating with your immigration lawyer is essential.  Find out if they intend to contact you via phone or email, and make sure that you are able to stay in touch with them. Figure out in advance what times work well with your schedules for phone calls or meetings, and ask them what sort of time frame they have for responding to emails or voice mails.

What Other Questions Should I Ask My Immigration Lawyer

Use these 7 questions as a guide to get started!  There are many more that you can ask as well. Don’t just limit yourself to this list. It’s important to think about what matters to you and to communicate that to your lawyer.

Make sure your lawyer is really listening to you and is willing to take the time to address your concerns. If you’re worried about anything, bring it up with your attorney, and find out what they can do to ease your mind or how you can be proactive in dealing with your concern.

Are You Looking for An Immigration Attorney?

The VisaPlace Group of Lawyers (VPGs) and their staff are all independent, licensed practitioners who understand how important it is for to you to achieve your immigration goals and have been trained to follow best practices and procedures to maximize your chances of success! If you have immigration questions, we may have the answers you seek.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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