Why Hire an Attorney?

Why Hire an Immigration Attorney?

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Your fiancé(e) requires a K-1 visa to enter the United States and you need assistance with the process. While the internet offers seemingly endless choices, from attorneys to visa services, it is important to know the distinction between what a visa service can do and the service you will receive from a qualified immigration attorney. Visa services promise money back guarantees, high success rates and lower pricing than many attorneys. What should you believe and whom should you hire? Below, we explore some of the differences between visa services and attorneys. You may also wish to read our fiancé(e) visa FAQ.

Visa Services

Immigration Consultant

Visa services frequently refer to themselves as ‘immigration consultants’. Any person that has completed a criminal background check and registered with his or her state can use this designation. Most states do not recognize ‘immigration consultants’.

Education and Experience

No education or experience is required to hire oneself out as an ‘immigration consultant’ or ‘immigration expert’. Anyone can establish or work for a visa service, regardless of their background.

Consultation

A visa service is not allowed to consult with you or your spouse from a legal perspective or provide legal advice or a legal opinion. For these reasons, visa services will use the terms ‘guidance’ or ‘support’. This is especially dangerous when a legal issue arises that requires analysis and a quick response. Given the nature of the fiancé(e) visa process, legal issues are always present.

Legal Representation

A visa service cannot legally represent you before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), National Visa Center (NVC) or the United States embassy or consulate. This means that the visa service will not receive a receipt notice, approval notice or request for evidence issued by the USCIS; correspondence from the NVC or appointment letters or direction from the United States embassy or consulate. A visa service cannot communicate with any government entity on your behalf or attend an interview. For these reasons visa services use the term ‘monitoring’ with respect to your case. This term is meaningless and can seriously hamper your ability to promptly respond to government requests and direction.

Money Back Guarantee

Many visa services offer a ‘money back guarantee’. The ‘fine print’, however, lists conditions allowing them to refuse you the refund. When a refund is requested, one or more of the listed conditions are invoked, rendering the ‘money back guarantee’ inapplicable to you.

One Hundred Percent (100%) Success Rate

Assuming that the visa service has experience processing a fiancé(e) visa, it is aware that a 100% success rate is not possible. Unfortunately, a fiancé(e) visa can be denied by the United States Embassy or Consulate for a variety of reasons many of which are not the fault of the client.

Timing

Visa services state that they experience ‘shorter visa wait times’. Visa services are subject to the same government processing times as attorneys. Since visa services are unable to receive information directly from government agencies or communicate with the government on your behalf, the processing times are actually longer.

Conclusion

Visa services cannot provide legal advice or representation before government entities. They cannot advocate on your behalf or solve inevitable legal issues. If you are looking for someone to simply complete forms then we suggest that you save the visa service fee and do it yourself. If you are serious about the fiancé(e) visa process, then it makes sense to retain an experienced immigration attorney.

Immigration Attorney

You have made the monumental decision to get married. Certainly less significant, but extremely important, is ensuring that your fiancé(e) obtains a fiancé(e) visa. To create the best chance for the immigration process to succeed, retaining an experienced immigration attorney is the only real choice.

Education and Experience

An experienced immigration attorney is well versed in the nuances of the fiancé(e) visa process, including petition and application preparation, responses to requests for evidence, documentation collection, government communication and consular interviews and advocacy. An experienced immigration attorney can successfully overcome possible issues by providing clients with sound advice based on education, experience and understanding of the legal issues at hand.

Consultation

Only an immigration attorney is qualified and legally allowed to consult and provide legal advice. Given that legal issues are always present during the fiancé(e) visa process, retaining an attorney that can consult with you is extremely important.

Legal Representation

An immigration attorney can legally represent you before the USCIS, NVC or United States Embassy or Consulate. This means that the attorney will receive a receipt notice, approval notice or request for evidence issued by the USCIS, correspondence from the NVC or appointment letters or direction from the United States embassy or consulate. You retain an immigration attorney because s/he can communicate with any government entity on your behalf. This allows you to promptly respond to government requests and direction and expedite the fiancé(e) visa process.

Money Back Guarantee

An experienced immigration attorney will analyze your case, explain the steps that lie ahead as well as the potential pitfalls and provide a realistic assessment of the results that can be achieved. If the immigration attorney does not believe that the result will be the obtainment of a fiancé(e) visa then s/he will not accept the case. Those offering ‘money back guarantees’ are only interested in acquiring clients regardless of the potential for success.

One Hundred Percent (100%) Success Rate

Any experienced immigration attorney is well aware that one hundred percent (100%) of petitions and applications filed do not result in a fiancé(e) visa. Unfortunately, a fiancé(e) visa can be denied for a variety of reasons. Again, those touting a ’100% success rate’ are probably more interested in acquiring another client than providing an honest and up-front analysis of your case and your chances of success.

Timing

Although the fiancé(e) visa process is subject to the same government processing times, retaining an experienced immigration attorney that is able to prepare for the required next steps and anticipate possible issues will ensure that the fiancé(e) visa process proceeds as expeditiously as possible.

Conclusion

If you are serious about the fiancé(e) visa process, it is worth the expense to retain an experienced immigration attorney.