The primary service a DC immigration attorney offers is assessing the entirety of an individual’s immigration history and contact with immigration officials in the United States and abroad, and evaluating all the options that they may have for temporary or permanent status in the United States, as well as the possibilities of putting their already-existing status at risk. Sometimes that includes evaluating prior orders of deportation or a criminal record and sometimes it involves evaluating options that a person may have in changing from one lawful status to another. In many cases, the end goal is to obtain some sort of permanent status such as legal permanent residency or citizenship, and in other cases the goal may be simply to halt or postpone a person’s deportation.
When Can An Immigration Lawyer Help?
An individual will certainly want an immigration lawyer if they are in removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge. However, in many cases an immigration attorney is also necessary when an individual is not in removal proceedings at all. Our firm gets a lot of cases in which people thought they were submitting an application that was straightforward and didn’t anticipate problems, but after doing the initial filing on their own they received a denial or a request for evidence from USCIS. Attorneys can step in at that point, once things become more complicated.
Sometimes an individual will already be aware that they have a complicated immigration path, and they want to ensure that moving forward they are taking all possible steps to do avoid problems. Also, in many cases you may have people who have been living undocumented in the United States for many years, and want to evaluate whether or not there is some sort of legal option that they may have overlooked.
Immigration Issues Are Time-Sensitive
In general, immigration law is extremely time-sensitive. There are often deadlines for submitting applications or renewals of certain statuses like TPS or asylum, and there are always deadlines for responses to USCIS requests for evidence or appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals or other appellate bodies.
If an individual is in removal proceedings, you may have deadlines for submitting documents or briefs and motions to the court, and for another of other issues.
Even simple things, like having your fingerprints taken for a pending application during removal proceedings can have strict deadlines that can’t be missed without harming your case.
Contact an Attorney If You Are Worried About Your Status
Contacting an attorney when you are concerned with your immigration status is important because the consequences of a misstep can be very severe. The seemingly minor violations of immigration an immigration status or a criminal offense can have profound impacts on your ability to remain in the United States and to ever reenter the United States, so it’s better to identify a problem if there is one before you’re placed into removal proceedings. If you are placed into removal proceedings, you want to make sure that you understand all of your options at the very beginning of the process, especially if there may be some option for you to apply to terminate the case early on.