Immigration attorneys do a number of key things that provide value to clients seeking permanent legal residence in the U.S. or authorization to legally work in the country on a temporary basis. Those responsibilities include exploring available legal options, helping to prepare and file paperwork and representing clients with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) and in court.
Immigration attorneys can help clients explore all available legal options. There are a variety of ways that a person can obtain legal permanent residence in the U.S. or at least legal authorization to work on a temporary basis. Immigration attorneys are equipped with experience and skills to view and assess the facts of a prospective client’s case and make a determination of all of the potential options facing the individual. The immigration attorney can then discuss those options with the client. The client and the immigration lawyer can sit down together to evaluate options presented to make a decision as to the best course for proceeding.
Immigration attorneys are able to prepare and file applications and petitions on behalf of their clients. It is prudent to have an attorney with knowledge and experience in the immigration field to prepare paperwork so that problems, issues, challenges and delays are avoided entirely or at least minimized significantly. Immigration attorneys practicing in the field for a significant length of time and who devote a relatively large portion of their practice to the field of immigration are more than likely very familiar and adept with the necessary government paperwork and procedures. This type of legal counsel can assist clients in avoiding pitfalls that plague those navigating the system on their own.
USCIS is one of three agencies that used to be known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). The other two agencies are the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). INS was part of the Department of Justice and was authorized to manage all legal and illegal immigration and naturalization matters in the U.S. It was formed to protect and uphold the laws of naturalization and to administer the process and procedure required for person to become a U.S. citizen. These three agencies currently exist under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security.
Parties hiring immigration counsel to represent them need not communicate directly with the government any longer. An immigration attorney fields all communications and then provides advice on the suggested response. That attorney also helps decode instructions of the government and decipher which regulations are applicable.