On occasion individuals may encounter a situation with legal difficulties in the U.S. It is very important that in situations involving any criminal charges or an arrest that you seek solid legal counsel. If JHMI is your sponsor we can help you to seek the appropriate legal counsel if the situation goes beyond the scope of our office’s responsibilities or capabilities.
Points to consider when hiring an immigration attorney:
- Are they a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)?
- If you need to hire a criminal lawyer, are they familiar with the immigration consequences of the particular criminal charges or a plea bargain?
- Have they handled cases like yours before?
- Do they specialize in family-based or employment-based immigration cases?
AILA provides a list of very useful tips to consider when dealing with immigration attorneys: Be careful who you listen to!
- Be smart! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t believe it if someone tells you about a secret law or claims to have connections or special influence with any agency.
- Never sign an application that contains false information, and try to avoid signing blank forms. If you must sign a blank form, make sure you get a copy of the completed form and review it for accuracy before it is filed.
- Always get proof of filing—a copy or government filing receipt—when anything is submitted in your case.
- Insist on a written contract that details all fees and expenses and make sure you receive a receipt, especially if you pay cash. If terms change, get a written explanation.
- Don’t let anyone “find” you a sponsor or spouse to get you a green card: it’s illegal.
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