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Finding a Damn Good Immigration Attorney in the United States

From Jennifer Leavitt-Wipf,
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Why Finding the Right Immigration Attorney is Important

Finding an immigration attorney in the United States can easily cause a headache. This article will help you choose the one that is right for you.

The Wall Street Journal dubbed it a "new port for the huddled masses," and indeed, the Internet has become a popular resource, at times even a life line, for those seeking to immigrate or obtain temporary visas. Or simply for people who need to understand the legalities of their situation or pending case. The dynamics are changing in some interesting ways.

Now that so much information is available online, some people with very simple cases have opted to go it on their own. While this is certainly more possible than it used to be, the amount of information available is copious, and the time commitment is great, as are the demands for attention to detail and a grasp of how the process works (and in some cases doesn't work). "You wouldn't have a dentist perform heart surgery," says Carl Shusterman, Esq. (Law Offices of Carl Shusterman), providing an analogy of why it can be so important to hire a proper professional for most legal issues affecting immigrants.

A really good immigration attorney can be worth his or her weight in gold.

In addition to the do-it-yourselfers, there are a growing number of people who do turn to the Web to seek a good immigration attorney. With the expansion of the Internet there are many more long distance client/attorney opportunities available now.

But where there are more choices, there is also more room for mistakes and incompetence. We almost always recommend an attorney, to ensure that no stone in your case will go unturned. However, the catch is that you must stay well informed in order to be sure you aren't breaking any rules, and you must also make sure that the immigration attorney is a damn good one. Put your paperwork in the hands of someone who knows not what they do, and he or she can make matters even worse than you would have on your own.

Remember that even the best immigration attorney can't be there every minute to make sure you aren't doing something in your daily life that could jeopardize your case. And if you don't know many of the quirky rules, you won't know you are making the mistake, and won't think to ask about it. "Usually, a good immigration attorney should know the right questions to ask," Greg Siskind of Siskind Susser stresses. But knowledge is power, and if you want to have any control of your destiny, it's wise to know the basics.

A good immigration attorney is worth his or her weight in gold. This is underscored by the frightening stories we hear on a regular basis, about those who are not experienced.

One woman came to us to ask about when she might be getting her green card, as she missed her family, and had been unable to see them for three years due to the delay in getting her actual card. We asked why she hadn't gotten an Advance Parole. She didn't have the foggiest clue of what we were talking about. This woman had been on a valid F-1 student visa when she married her US citizen husband. She had never been out of status and there were no complications in her case. When her immigration attorney told her not to leave the country before receiving her green card, he simply failed to inform her that she could have filed for Advance Parole, which is a travel permission that can often be obtained within 30-90 days.

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