If you are in need of an immigration attorney, chances are you are feeling stressed and vulnerable about your current immigration situation. The idea of being separated from your family, or being dropped by your sponsor mid-way through the process can keep you up at night. These are the reasons why some people are quick to choose an attorney without properly vetting them. Although there are many good immigration lawyers to choose from, there are also a lot of bad ones. Choosing a bad immigration lawyer can have damaging consequences on your case and alter your life forever.
When choosing an immigration attorney in Houston to represent you in your case, make sure that you don’t fall for any of these deceptive tricks. A good immigration attorney won’t make promises about outcomes or be too eager to take your case. They don’t pretend to be a superhero. Read further to learn 5 red flags to look out for when hiring an immigration attorney.
1. Too Eager To Take Your Case
If your lawyer accepts your case over the phone without knowing any or all of the facts, you may have a bad lawyer. If they come across like a salesman, making promises of a green card, this is the wrong attorney for you. Also, if the attorney gives an estimate over the phone without knowing the details of your case, the estimate will likely be wrong. At some point, the attorney will either have to ask for more money, which will upset you and cause distrust with your lawyer, or the lawyer will have to cut corners in preparing the case because you were undercharged.
2. Guarantees 100 % Success
A lot of times when people are hiring a lawyer, the first thing they ask is “what are my chances?” People hire attorneys because they are desperate, unfamiliar with Houston immigration law, and don’t want a bad outcome. Attorneys have knowledge and experience to give an opinion about your case once he or she has reviewed the facts with you. However, if he or she is making guarantees about the outcome of your case, such as, “I promise you will get a green card at the end of this,” he or she is lying and can’t be trusted. An attorney can only make a promise of the quality of the work and the commitment to you and your case.
3. No Family No Problem
In order to apply for a green card or permanent residence, U.S. immigration law states you must have direct ties to the U.S. This is either through a close family relative or in some instances, a business can sponsor you for a work visa. If you do not have anyone to sponsor you in the U.S., but your attorney says that is not a problem and you can still get a green card, he or she is lying and you should get another lawyer. Chances are the attorney will try to file a false asylum claim for you. Although it could work at first, and you could get a work permit, eventually you will end up in removal proceedings for fraud.
4, Where’s My Lawyer
If you met with and interviewed a lawyer whom you trust and hired to handle your case, you should be able to have access and contact with him or her regularly. However, if you are being shuffled around from lawyer to paralegal, and then to another lawyer, this is a bad sign. This could mean that the law firm is unorganized, in disarray, or that there is a high turnover in the firm, all of which are bad signs. Also, if you can’t get your attorney to email or call you back within a reasonable timeframe, or he or she is always busy or at lunch, this is a red flag. An attorney should always be reachable to you.
5. It’s All About Money
Another red flag that your attorney might be bad is if he or she asks for money upfront. Except for an initial consultation fee, an attorney should never ask for an initial payment. A good attorney should lay out a plan for your case and you should formally accept his or her representation before any money is paid. Be leary of any attorney that takes your money right away. Also, you should be able to get any money paid to the attorney back for work that was not completed. If the attorney claims that they can not pay it back, this is definitely a red flag.
When it’s time to hire an immigration attorney, chances are you are feeling desperate and full of anxiety. But it is important that you take the time to interview several immigration attorneys to find the right one for your case. Davis & Associates are highly skilled and knowledgeable immigration attorneys that take the time to go over the details of your case and set reasonable expectations for you. If you have questions or would like to speak to an immigration attorney, call Davis & Associates today.