An immigration attorney, or a lawyer who practices immigration law, can be a useful asset to an undocumented immigrant. While it is possible to do your own legal research and file the necessary forms yourself, it is often better for immigrants with complicated cases to seek professional help. An attorney will walk you through the process of becoming documented in the United States and will help ensure that all forms are filled out correctly and on time.

When Should You Hire an Immigration Lawyer?

An immigration attorney is a lawyer trained in immigration law who represents people applying for visas, green cards, citizenship, or other US entry documents. They can answer different immigration-related questions, such as:

  • How can an individual enter the United States?
  • What do individuals with criminal records need to do to regain their legal status or become US citizens?
  • How can an individual remove conditions on their status inside the US?
  • Which legal options are available for individuals who would like to remain in the United States permanently?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of someone who is already legally in the US?
  • What steps do an immigrant need to take to gain citizenship in the United States?

Other issues handled by an immigration attorney include the following.

Asylum and Refugee Status

When seeking asylum, an immigration attorney can help an individual prove their eligibility for asylum based on persecution related to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Cancellation of Removal Proceedings

Removal proceedings are the processes by which the US government orders the departure of a non-US citizen from the country. An immigration attorney can assist in these proceedings to ensure that due process is upheld and the correct procedures are followed.

When seeking cancellation of removal proceedings, an immigration attorney can help a client demonstrate that they have been living in the US for years and would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if they were removed from the country.

Work Permits

Work permits can be granted to someone who is not a citizen or permanent resident only under certain circumstances. While an immigration attorney cannot help clients obtain work permits themselves, they can often assist with obtaining documentation that proves the client's eligibility along with any other legal issues that may prevent them from being able to file for a permit.

The Bottom Line

While some attorneys exclusively represent immigrants in their efforts to settle the United States, others defend those facing criminal charges for violating US immigration law. Others represent clients who are seeking government benefits or redress under civil laws that apply specifically to noncitizens.

Contact a law firm like Diaz Shafer P.A to learn more.