Legal Toolkit Pennsylvania Immigration and Visas

What to Do About Immigration and Visas

a

Beware of advice from U.S. Immigration Government employees; they may be understaffed, overworked, or not as well informed of the law, procedures, and other matters that impact your specific immigration filings. Because of a heavier focus on secure immigration practices since 9/11, government employees are more likely to exercise extreme caution in giving advice to immigrants.

b

Beware of non-accredited immigrant consultants. They may be uninformed about current immigration laws or may be dishonest. They may also be unlawfully engaged in the practice of law. They do not have malpractice insurance and they are not required to continue to educate themselves and keep current on changes in the immigration laws as immigration attorneys are required to do. If they were to fill out immigration forms for you fraudulently or inaccurately, they could permanently harm your ability to be in the U.S. legally. Beware especially of someone who guarantees to get you a visa or Green Card for a certain fee. If you are unsure about someone’s qualifications, ask to see their accreditation letters or U.S. bar admission certificate before discussing your case with them or giving them any money.

c

It can be helpful and sometimes critical to know from your attorney what kind of timeline your case might face or what kind of existing caseload your attorney may already have before hiring them. If your situation allows very little time flexibility, you may want to hire an attorney that can address immigration issues immediately.

d

Have patience with the immigration process; it can be lengthy. Check progress by visiting Immigration Case Status and Processing Times links in "Where to Read More".

e

If you are not sure of your immigration status, have overstayed your visa, or think you may be in the country unlawfully, you should not discuss it with anyone – including your employer - before speaking to an immigration attorney.