Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do I need a visa lawyer? Pros and cons and affordable alternatives


I am writing this post because I was contacted by someone who was considering submitting an I 129 petition as the first stage of the K1 fiance visa process and asked my opinion on this topic and I thought it deserved a full answer. 

It is a question that I think many people ponder before they embark on the process, but before I go through the pros and cons of do I need a lawyer, I will tell you what my wife (finance the time) and I decided with regard to this matter and why we came to the decision that we did. 

Basically, we decided against getting a US Immigration lawyer for three reasons. 

  • Firstly, I have several years of experience of working with immigrants to the UK, which is not the same as US immigration, but similar enough to give me confidence in dealing with the USCIS procedures. 
  • Secondly, we would have struggled to afford the expense of a lawyer, even if we wanted to. 
  • Thirdly, there were no particularly difficult complications that we could foresee, for example, I do not have a criminal record, I’d not been turned down for a US visa previously, and we felt able to demonstrate that we were in a genuine relationship.
 
Pros of getting a Visa Lawyer

  • If the visa lawyer is any good, he or she will know the procedures and legislation inside out.  They will also have experiences of dealing with glitches and major problems.
  • The lawyer can give you general advice on things such as time schedules and filling in the application forms, collecting evidence for your I 129 etc.
  • The visa lawyer can help you with complications, such as past criminal records, concerns over medical conditions, or visas being refused in the past.
  • The lawyer can deal with the USCIS authorities on your behalf.
 
Cons of getting a Visa Lawyer

  • The expense is the main thing that puts people off getting legal advice.  Getting a lawyer can be expensive.  You might need one, however, if there are complications, such as a criminal record, or there have been visa problems in the past.
  • It is possible that having a visa lawyer might slow the process down slightly.  For instance, if you send your application forms to them to be checked before they are sent on to the USCIS, it might several days onto the overall processing time.  They could also save you time, however, by preventing mistakes!
  • If you are in doubt, you can always enquire to find out how much a visa lawyer is likely to cost you and what services they offer in return.  You can always say no.

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your insights always with everyone through your blog site.Keep posting such interesting posts always.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Preeti - thanks, I always appreciate positive feedback!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! I really enjoyed your stuff. I am a Immigration attorney at Chicago. I will say that whenever a person thinks to migrate he must contact a experience immigration attorney because there are many complications which can be solved by a lawyer easily.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being an immigration attorney it's no wonder you would say such a thing. I'm about to wrap up the whole process myself with my fiance all without the expense of an attorney. It can easily be done on your own if you can read and comprehend. Having a genuine relationship makes it easy as well since the evidence is undeniable. It's not exactly rocket science. Of course, no criminal records or things that might cause a glitch helps for doing it on your own as well. I'm very happy to have done this on our own!

      Delete
  4. Hi just enquiring regarding K1 visa. I have a few criminal convictions but they were only fines and they were over 25 years ago. Would this be a problem for me obtaining a visa. I worked for the Police for several years has a Special Constable so my convictions didn'y cause any problems then.

    Karl

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Karl, I really can't give you an answer on that, sorry - I am no legal expert. The vast majority of people who apply for the visa are successful though and you can appeal if they were to turn you down.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am in the middle of my K1 and I hired a lawyer. If you guys think that the lawyer will speed up the application, forget it. Today it has been 6 months since he submitted the petition and we have not even received any answer from USCIS. Read this blog, is more useful than any leech lawyer. Paul you are brilliant mate, I wish I would have seen this blog when I made the decision. My advise read this blog and don't hire any lawyer. The only problem would be filling the forms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's funny that an immigration lawyer commented that he thinks you should always use a lawyer. lol. I'm wrapping up the process successfully all without a lawyer. glad I didn't waste the money and I suggest to anyone else that if you can read and comprehend that you just do this on your own!

      Delete
  7. can any one tell me how many months maximum will a k1 take? and must the US citizen be earning more money before he/she can file for K1?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going through the same thing and asking for my finance. I spoke to immigration a lot and decided not to use a lawyer since they do not speed up the process. I asked how long the process takes and was told for the application and my background check can take from 3-6 months to be approved depending on how busy they are. And then you fiancé has to get a call and an interview scheduled from the us embassy in their country that is now 100% in there hands and she could not give me a date on how long that takes. Also regarding the money a household of 2 the us citizen needs to make $18,500 per year. Not exactly sure how much more it is for children.

      Delete
  8. I'm currently a medical student, and my fiance is in france.I currently have no salary, only medical school loans. Does anyone know if I must be earning a salary in order to qualify for sponsoring the K1 visa, or if a parent is able to co-sponsor? Thanks so much, this blog has been so helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the situation of easy migrants law and short-term journey programs, attorneys may be too costly. It’s not a issue if you can manage them.

    And if your in a law firm, immigration law and law firm marketing that needs more local customers and pre-qualified prospects, then should Buy Immigration Leads it will help you increase your local internet leads on any of your local legal marketing,marketing project and freelance immigration law and creates a stylish conversion optimized website for your Immigration Law Firm business, designed to generate IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM LEADS, while optimized to help you rank on the first page of Google.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is a must read! Getting a Visa Lawyer or Immigration Attorney is definitely helpful, particularly if you have difficulty in your Visa application and other important matters of immigrating. It may be quite expensive to hire one, but it sure will help your visa to be processed quickly. Plus, you don’t have to worry anymore about all the papers that you have to prepare.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice article, Paul. Yes it is absolutely right that hiring a lawyer for visa does make the whole process slow. And it even costs a fortune.
    P.S. I really liked your thoughts under "Pros of getting a Visa Lawyer or US Immigration Attorney". Thanks for sharing!
    _________________________

    Personal Injury Attorney Las Vegas

    ReplyDelete
  12. Getting a good lawyer is more important as you will have totally depend on him for your justice. So you do need a lawyer but a good and expert one.

    Good Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  13. Really it is nice post, The post is clearly highlighting the values of law. It is now being necessary for all of us to understand law and its values.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Looking for immigration consultation in Dallas ? Visit us - Dallas Immigration Lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  15. I think if we read carefully from USCIS site, we can assemble I - 129f package well. There are 2 videos on youtube, they used colorful tabs, that's not necessary. Use acco fastener and simple tab on the bottom. I wrote how to assemble I-129f on my blog. Thanks for sharing your story...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I pondered this question a long time for my Filipino girl to come to U.S. on a K1 visa and after looking it all over several times I decided not to use one. If you have no criminal record I see no need for a lawyer. Just read the instructions several times, get familiar with it, research the internet for answers. I feel okay doing it myself and see no reason for paying someone to fill out your application, you still have to give all the answers and supply all the proof. I feel ok about and will mail it in soon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. totally agree no need for lawyer. We're going the route of doing it without a lawyer and it's going very well. All you need is a decent head on your shoulder. Good luck!

      Delete
  17. Search best corporate lawyer in Texas Mr. Keen and his team for trusting towards corporate business, legal benefits, etc. Our Law firm will help with commercial and corporate business legal matters in Texas.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank you for providing the information. I would like to tell that I have recently dealt with an experienced immigration lawyer who have provided me all types of immigration related service.

    Denied Entry to USA

    ReplyDelete