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  • March 2, 2024

Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Questions to Ask an Immigration Lawyer

Navigating the complex world of visas, green cards, and citizenship can feel overwhelming. Between ever-changing laws, intricate forms, and potential pitfalls, seeking guidance from an immigration lawyer is crucial for a smooth and successful application. But what questions should you ask to ensure you get the most out of your consultation?

Navigating the Maze: What to Ask an Immigration Lawyer Before You Apply

This guide serves as your roadmap, highlighting 15 key questions to equip you with the necessary knowledge and empower you to engage confidently with your chosen immigration lawyer:

  1. What specific expertise do you have in this type of case?

Immigration law encompasses various specializations. Determine if the lawyer handles cases similar to yours, whether it’s employment-based visas, family reunification, asylum, or citizenship.

  1. What is your success rate for cases like mine?

While past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, understanding their success rate in cases comparable to yours provides valuable insight into their track record.

  1. What are the different options available to me?

Don’t assume one path exists. Explore all visa, green card, or citizenship possibilities that align with your goals and explore which might be the most viable.

  1. What are the associated costs and fees for each option?

Financial transparency is crucial. Understand the lawyer’s fees, whether hourly or flat rates, along with any additional costs like government application fees.

  1. What documents do I need to gather, and what steps should I take beforehand?

Preparation is key. Identify the required paperwork upfront and get organized well before your consultation. Discuss what steps you can take on your own to strengthen your case.

  1. What are the potential challenges or risks associated with my case?

Be aware of possible roadblocks. Seek clarity on potential issues and how the lawyer plans to address them proactively.

  1. What is the estimated timeline for the application process?

Immigration application

Time is precious. Get a realistic timeframe for each stage of the process, from filing to decision, to manage your expectations and plan accordingly.

  1. How will you communicate with me throughout the process?

Clear communication is essential. Discuss their preferred methods of communication, frequency of updates, and accessibility for questions you may have along the way.

  1. Do you handle all communication with government agencies on my behalf?

Understanding the scope of their service is important. Clarify if they manage direct communication with immigration authorities or if you’ll need to handle specific interactions yourself.

  1. What happens if my application is denied?

Denials can occur. Ask about their experience handling appeals, the costs associated with appeals, and their overall strategy for navigating such situations.

  1. Can you connect me with other clients with similar experiences?

Talking to peers who have gone through the process can be invaluable. Inquire if the lawyer can connect you with past clients for firsthand perspectives.

  1. Do you offer any additional services outside of the application process?

Some lawyers offer services beyond the core application, such as pre-interview coaching or assistance with post-approval adjustments. Understand the full range of their services and associated costs.

  1. Are you licensed and in good standing with the bar association?

Always verify the  lawyer’s credentials and confirm their good standing with their state bar association.

  1. What are your references?

Seek recommendations from past clients or other legal professionals to gain additional insights into the lawyer’s work ethic and effectiveness.

  1.  How much do you charge for an initial consultation?

It is common for lawyers to offer initial consultations to discuss your case briefly and assess your eligibility.  Before engaging in a paid consultation, use this opportunity to gauge their suitability.

Bonus Tip: Prepare your own questions! Reflect on your specific situation and concerns to ensure you gather all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Remember, your immigration lawyer is your partner in navigating this complex process. By asking the right questions and establishing clear expectations, you can set yourself on the path towards a successful outcome.

Important Note: This guide is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You can consider consulting with our experienced immigration attorney


Q: Do I need an immigration lawyer to apply for a visa, green card, or citizenship?

While not mandatory, seeking legal guidance can significantly increase your chances of success, navigate complex processes smoothly, and avoid costly mistakes.

Q: How much does an immigration lawyer cost?

A: Fees vary depending on the lawyer’s experience, the complexity of your case, and the specific services required. Discuss fees upfront to understand the financial commitment.

Q: How long does it take to get a visa, green card, or citizenship?

Processing times can vary considerably depending on your category, the current workload at USCIS, and individual circumstances. Your lawyer can provide a more accurate time frame based on your specific case.

Q: What happens if I overstay my visa?

A: Overstaying can have serious consequences, including difficulty obtaining future visas or even inadmissibility. Consult an immigration lawyer immediately if you face this situation.

Q: Can I change my immigration status later?

A: Depending on your current status and eligibility, you might be able to adjust your status without leaving the U.S. Contact our office for more information.

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