When you have a cosmopolitan city that draws people from all over the globe, it’s no wonder that there is a significant need for Immigration Lawyers in San Francisco. And if you’re looking for one, they’re pretty easy to find.
So why would you seek out an immigration lawyer in San Francisco? There are a variety of reasons, but they all come down to the fact that people who want to live in the United States want to do so legally. It can be due to a job, going to school or to visit friends and family. Whatever the reason, there are laws that dictate how long they can say in the city, what they are able to do while they are living here and what exactly it would take to gain U.S. citizenship.
Often, people start looking for an immigration lawyer in San Francisco when they are threatened with being deported. No “green card” or visa, and the threat is very real. That’s where an immigration lawyer can help. Nobody wants to be classified as an “illegal alien.”
Because of the fear of terrorism, the immigration laws are constantly changing. That’s why it’s extremely important to find an immigration lawyer who is not only experienced but knowledgeable as well. The other consideration is to find a lawyer who has experience that mirrors your particular situation.
It takes some homework; there are about 500 immigration lawyers in San Francisco. And as any lawyer will tell you, immigration laws are extremely complex. If you’re seeking asylum, for example, you need an immigration lawyer who has experience in that arena. If your attorney can get the matter resolved correctly at the start, you’ll avoid delays and additional costs.
So what questions should you ask your potential lawyer?
Start by asking just how long they’ve been practicing immigration law. A lot of general practitioners like to say they know immigration law, but if they can’t specific that they’re only practicing immigration law and for how long, keep looking.
Another question is to find out if they’re able to work on your case now. Many people forget to ask, and then they find that it will take a significant amount of time for the lawyer to get to their matter if they’re currently busy.
Lawyers, like doctors and other professionals, belong to professional associations. You’ll want an immigration lawyer who belongs to a professional group as well, and for immigration law it’s the American Immigration Lawyers Association. It’s a national alliance of immigration lawyers who practice and teach immigration law, and they’re always up-to-date on the ever-changing landscape of immigration law.
You’ll want to know how much your case is going to cost you, and one way to find out is to ask if the lawyer will work on a firm fee instead of hourly. Most lawyers are able to estimate this, and it could save you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Finally, ask the potential attorney if he or she thinks you have a chance of a good outcome on your case. If they’re honest, they’ll discuss how they’ll handle your matter, and while nobody will guarantee an outcome, if they tell you that they’re confident that they can work your case, that’s a good sign. Otherwise, look for a different attorney.