“He who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer”
While the saying above applies to different types of legal matters it is vital to emphasize that it applies to immigration law as well. There is a common misconception that immigration law is mainly about filling out forms that anyone can do on their own and therefore, there is no reason to hire an immigration attorney. This however is undoubtedly a myth. The fact is that American immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law. In addition, it is also an extremely politically conflict-ridden area that is constantly changing. The immigration process is extremely complicated, and as such, it requires a vast, deep and ongoing understanding of our nations constantly changing immigration laws. Each application for immigration benefits contains a different set of facts and circumstances and behind these forms and applications are many pages of laws and regulations. There are no two immigration cases that are the same. Every case has to be analyzed separately and thoroughly to determine the best and most effective means to obtain immigration benefits. To make matters worse, there are at least three major agencies that administer the US immigration system and dozens of other agencies that play a role. Knowing which agency deals with what issue is not always a simple task.
Many people choose to turn to the government agencies for immigration advice and help, however, relying on such agencies for legal advice could end up being a crucial mistake. Before turning to any of these agencies one must keep in mind that the officers who give the information have no legal background, they are not adequately trained in immigration law and they do not keep up with the constant developments. They do not represent you, and have no liability or responsibility for the information they provide. They are not advocates for the rights of immigrants and do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.
The end result of completing and filing an immigration petition on your own may be costly in terms of both time and money. Any mistakes made on the applications, even the most minor errors, may result in serious consequences, leaving you with limited options thereafter. Furthermore, cleaning up the mess and fixing the mistakes can be very difficult and takes more work and time therefore; it is a more expensive process.
Immigration issues are life changing matters and as such they deserve the best assistance possible.
An immigration attorney knows what questions to ask and what evidence to review in order to determine all the available options for you including the risks and benefits of each option and will work with you to prepare your case properly and effectively. The attorney will explain to the different agencies why you meet the requirements of the law and if a problem should arise a competent lawyer can prepare your case for an appeal. Hiring an immigration attorney to help with your immigration matter today will prevent aggravation, frustration, disappointment, stress and uncertainty in the future.
“Immigration law is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.”
Karen Kraushaar, U.S. Immigration and Nationality Service Spokesperson, quoted in Washington Post, [Maryland] Family Ensnared in Immigration Maze–After Changes in Law, Couple Faces Deportation (Apr. 24, 2001)