Why Do I Need an Immigration Attorney?
At Fay and Grafton, we often meet with potential clients who have what seem to be basic questions about how to fill out their forms, whether it is an Adjustment of Status, a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, a Naturalization, etc. While our ethical obligations and the federal regulations prevent us from simply telling someone how to answer a particular question without serving as the preparer of the form, these consultations regularly result in the discussion of multiple additional issues that may not have been considered by the applicant. These issues often include claims to citizenship made on I-9 Forms to obtain work, issues of non-immigrant intent versus immigrant intent, financial support obligations, prior criminal charges, even if they have been dismissed or expunged, and many others. We are always hopeful that we get the opportunity to speak with applicants before anything is filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) because once an application or petition is filed, the applicant risks the possibility that he or she will be placed in removal (deportation) proceedings and face losing his or her ability to remain in the United States. Not only will an immigration attorney be able to address any potential issues that could arise, if you use an attorney to file your case, you are represented throughout your case. You will have legal representation at your interview and an attorney ready to respond if USCIS requests any additional documentation.
Unfortunately, we also often meet with applicants who have tried to file applications themselves and have had their case stalled due to a Request for Evidence or a Notice of Intent to Deny. We are often able to step in and respond to the inquiry quickly, however, it is more difficult than if our office had prepared the application. Oftentimes, the evidence is something that we would have submitted from the outset of the case, avoiding the unnecessary delay of a Request for Evidence, or it is an issue that cannot be overcome and we are left to simply prepare for the possibility of Immigration Court. It is true that Requests for Evidence are sometimes issued for documents that we could not have predicted USCIS would want, but by having an immigration attorney prepared to respond, we can work swiftly to get the case back on track.
Hiring an immigration attorney can minimize your risks of having your case denied, avoid unnecessary delays due to missing documents or evidence, allows you to have someone prepared to swiftly respond to any inquiries from the government, and allow you to feel more comfortable at your interview knowing a trained professional is on your side. Your immigration case is being reviewed by officers and attorneys who have years of training and experience in the intricacies of the Immigration and Nationality Act and corresponding regulations and policies. Shouldn’t you have someone with similar experience helping you present your case?
Why should you chose Fay and Grafton? Rebekah Grafton brings the unique experience of having worked for the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She is able to analyze, prepare, and litigate cases with the knowledge of how these cases are reviewed by government officers and attorneys. Her associate, Ana Nunez, brings the unique experience of having worked for the public defender’s office handling criminal cases and speaks Spanish. Together, our team of immigration attorneys will zealously represent you in your immigration case, whether it is before USCIS, the Immigration Court, or on appellate review.