Having a good immigration lawyer on your side can make all the difference in the immigration process. The immigration process can be long and complicated, especially if you choose to go at it alone. Immigration lawyers help you file all necessary documents, fill applications and apply for immigration benefits. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pitfalls in the immigration process that can delay the process.
1. Look For A Lawyer Who Speaks Your Language
The immigration process can quickly get stressful and complicated, especially if you’re communicating in a new language. Taking the time to find a lawyer who speaks your native language is an excellent way to streamline the immigration process. During the process, there are many nuances that can be hard to explain when there’s a language barrier.
Using a lawyer that speaks your language also makes it easy to get accurate certified translations of your documents. Immigration lawyers that speak your language and specialize in working with people from your country can also direct you to resources once you arrive in Canada. Working with a lawyer that speaks your language helps make the long process easier for you to maneuver.
2. Ask For References
One of the best ways to find a lawyer is to ask for introductions from people you know and trust. Even if your friends don’t know any lawyers personally, they may know someone who has recently gone through the immigration process and who may have contact with a lawyer. Good immigration lawyers are always accompanied by a ton of happy former client’s willing to recommend the lawyer’s services.
3. Get Clear On The Fee Schedule
Different law firms have different procedures when it comes to payment. To avoid any unexpected misunderstandings, it’s important to ask about the fee schedule while you’re still interviewing lawyers. A lot of immigration law firms charge by the hour and some firms charge fixed fees. Using a fixed fee schedule is good because you know exactly how much you need to invest in your lawyer. Getting clear on the payment schedule will help the process go more smoothly.
4. Make Sure You’re Dealing With A Licensed Lawyer
It’s always a good idea to investigate potential lawyers before making a final decision. You can find out a lot about your lawyer through online searches including their previous case history and reviews from former clients. You should also check if your lawyer is registered with the AILA (American Immigration Lawyers’ Association) or any other legal organizations.
When looking for an immigration lawyer, you need to ensure the person you’re dealing with is an actual practicing lawyer. Unfortunately, many non-lawyers operate under titles such as a “Visa Consultant” or “Notraio” and claim to be able to help people with the immigration process. In many cases, these people can do very little to help the immigration process and end up wasting your time and money.
5. Stay Away From Lawyers That Make Unrealistic Promises
Preparing to immigrate is usually an emotional and exciting time in your life, and unfortunately, some people can try and take advantage of your emotions. Stay away from any immigration lawyers that try and get you to do something fishy such as lying on one of your applications. If you get caught doing something illegal during the immigration process, you’ll be held more responsible than the lawyer will be. If you get a bad vibe or feel your lawyer is asking you to do something that isn’t right, run away!