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How Are Immigration Attorneys Compensated
Many lawyers, especially trial lawyers, are compensated out of court settlements if and when they win cases. They often provide consultation and representation for free with an eye toward legal fees from that settlement. This is good for those suffering from personal injury, workers compensation fraud or other legal issues where financial compensation is directly involved.
How Immigration Lawyers Work
Unfortunately, this is not the case for immigration lawyers. To purchase the services of an immigration attorney, you will have to pay out of pocket. You may be able to receive assistance from a non-profit organization dedicated to helping immigrants file paperwork and clear the path to citizenship or you may be able to find a lawyer willing to work on a sliding scale, but ultimately you will have to come up with legal fees on your own.
Most immigration lawyers understand that their clientele may not have that much money. While many immigrants come to the United States as successful professionals seeking to improve their children's quality of life, a good many more arrive with little more than dreams and ambition to succeed. For this reason, many immigration lawyers will offer free initial consultations in which they lay out the fees and processes associated with legal counsel.
Immigration lawyers tend to have prices on their websites. Some examples of common fees include:
- Assistance in filing basic forms - $300-700
- Full visa package assistance - $2,000-3,000
- Deportation/removal representation - $100-500/hour
- Naturalization assistance - $1,000-1,500
Additionally, you will have to pay for any forms required by USCIS, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. These do not come cheaply, with up to $1,000 per form and up to $2,000 for a visa application.
Consider hiring a paralegal if you just need assistance with notarizing or filling out forms. Paralegals are not trained legal professionals, and they can't represent you in a court of law, but they understand how legal forms and processes work. A paralegal professional may be able to help you for less money, but they are less trustworthy as well. It is up to you, but if your life and future are on the line, you should definitely consider the services of a qualified immigration attorney instead.