The technical answer to this is, “No.”
There is a lot of information available online, and the basic tools you need, such as USCIS forms and instructions, are available for free. Many people do in fact choose to apply on their own.
However, we have seen numerous instances where people started their cases on their own, but then decided to consult with us – either after realizing that they had made a mistake, or that their case was actually more complicated than they had thought. In the immigration world, mistakes can be serious.
They can cause you to miss out on benefits that you would have otherwise been eligible for. In worst case scenarios, they can result in lasting consequences that cost time, money, and heartbreak.
At Pelton & Balducci, our attorneys have decades of experience helping clients navigate the immigration system successfully. Here are some reasons we encourage individuals to seek professional legal services when applying for immigration benefits:
1. Your case is important
You have a lot at stake in your immigration case.
Your job opportunities, your ability to continue living with your family, your educational opportunities, and even your personal safety are some of the things that could be at stake with your immigration case.
It’s vital that your case be handled well.
2. Things are often more complicated than they seem
Immigration applications often ask LOTS of questions and require LOTS of information about applicants and their family members.
These questions often use technical terms (what we call “terms of art”) that sound like regular language.
And, of course, how you answer a question is important. It can make or break your case – and impact how quickly it takes you to get a decision on your case.
3. Choosing the best path
Sometimes, there may be more than one path to reach your goal. Each path may have its advantages and disadvantages.
A skilled immigration lawyer can guide you in deciding what makes the most sense for you. Missing out on opportunities by choosing the wrong path can limit options such as work authorization and travel outside the U.S. – and can therefore be very costly.
4. You get experience and peace of mind
Lawyers that focus on immigration law will usually have seen a case that is similar to yours and will know the peculiarities of the process and the distinct practices of the various offices and courts. You won’t have to waste time worrying about selecting the right form, how to document your case, or how to answer a question.
An experienced immigration lawyer will often even know the peculiarities of the adjudicators or the judges – and who is in charge of the various immigration offices. An experienced lawyer will use this information to guide you through your case, so you don’t lose sleep wondering if you handled the process correctly.
5. You get accountability
Lawyers take an oath to uphold the law and are bound by a code of ethics. We are required to put the client’s interest first.
In other words, our rules require us to give you the advice most beneficial to you – even if that advice is not the best for our bottom line. We also have to make sure that you know what’s going on in your case and make sure that your case keeps moving forward.
6. You save money
Yes, it’s true! Mistakes in immigration cases have significant consequences. Even small mistakes can result in delays that will cost you time, opportunities, and money.
In bad situations, mistakes can land you in immigration court, or even mean years of expulsion from the United States – and additional legal fees.
Contact Pelton + Balducci today
There is a lot to lose if your immigration case doesn’t go right – or even optimally. And there is a lot to gain if your case goes right. A trustworthy, experienced, and excellent immigration lawyer is an investment in yourself and your family. Such a lawyer can give you peace of mind, save you time, and allow you to focus your energies on your work and family.
Our team at Pelton + Balducci would be honored to do that for you. Schedule a consultation with us today.