5 Things Your Immigration Lawyer Should Know to Help Your Case
Planning for immigration to the United States can be a complex process requiring careful consideration and strategic decision-making. To ensure the best outcome for your case, it is crucial to work closely with an immigration lawyer who understands your unique circumstances. In this blog post, we will discuss five essential pieces of information that your immigration lawyer needs to know to help you effectively plan for your immigration journey. Let’s dive in!
The first crucial factor your immigration lawyer needs to know is your current immigration status. Are you currently in the United States, or are you outside the country? If you are in the U.S., did you enter with a visa, under some type of parole, or without inspection? It is important to determine whether you are currently in valid status and when your status will expire. To help with this assessment, you may want to download your latest I-94 record from the CBP website at i94.cbp.dhs.gov, along with your travel history. This information will help your lawyer strategize the available options for extending your stay and developing the best plan to achieve your immigration goals.
2. Immigration Issues
Any immigration issues encountered in the past play a significant role in determining the types of immigration benefits for which you may be eligible. Your lawyer should be aware of any visa denials, revocations, past denials of immigration benefits, placement into secondary inspection at ports of entry, and even lengthy visa stamp delays. It is also crucial to disclose if you have ever been refused entry to the United States, overstayed a visa, or have had any involvement in immigration court or removal proceedings. Understanding these issues allows your lawyer to develop appropriate strategies based on your current circumstances.
‘Crimmigration’ is a term that describes the intersection of federal immigration law with state criminal law. Prior and current criminal issues can have a significant impact on your eligibility for various immigration benefits. It is essential for your immigration lawyer to be aware of any previous criminal matters or pending charges you may be facing, along with the jurisdiction where the charge(s) occurred. Providing this information enables your lawyer to assess likely implications, devise appropriate legal strategies, and potentially consult with a criminal defense attorney in the state where the charge occurred to assess whether the crime is classified as one involving moral turpitude.
If you have children who will be included in your immigration case, your lawyer needs to be informed. In many cases, unmarried children under the age of 21 can be included as derivative beneficiaries. For instance, when applying for an E2 investor visa, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 as part of the application. By knowing about your children’s inclusion and future plans, your lawyer can address their long-term immigration needs and help structure a comprehensive strategy.
5. Other Applications
Informing your immigration lawyer about any other immigration applications that you have filed or that have been filed on your behalf is crucial. This information is especially important when applying for nonimmigrant visas that require demonstrating strict nonimmigrant intent. If you have a pending immigrant petition, your lawyer can strategize the most appropriate nonimmigrant visa for you, considering the dual intent or nonimmigrant intent requirements. Being aware of past immigration filings may also help your lawyer move you along faster in the green card queue especially if you obtained an earlier priority date from a past filing and would like to port that date into a new filing.
Collaborating with an immigration lawyer is essential for effectively planning your immigration to the United States. By providing your lawyer with accurate and comprehensive information about your status, immigration issues, criminal history, children, and other applications, you can ensure they have the necessary details to devise a tailored strategy for your case. Remember, transparency and open communication with your immigration lawyer will contribute to a smoother and more successful immigration process.
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Michael Ashoori, Esq.
President of Ashoori Law
I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.
Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.
Got a question? Send me an email.