Frequently asked questions
What do you charge?
I charge a $50 consultation fee to meet in person and have an initial discussion about your case. Costs and fees for different immigration processes will be separately quoted should you decide to move forward with an immigration process using my services.
Do you charge a retainer fee?
Yes, once retained I generally charge a small retainer fee for new clients.
Do you charge a flat rate or by the hour?
I generally charge a flat rate for standard immigration cases but may charge hourly for complicated cases requiring additional time and research. Clients will be fully informed on how they will be billed at the start of each case.
Do you have weekend or evening hours?
No, but I make exceptions every now and again depending on the case and the clients’ needs
How can I communicate with you to get my case completed?
I recommend that we have at least one in-person meeting initially to discuss your case thoroughly. After that we will both determine whether additional meetings may be needed to complete your case. You may also contact me by email, phone, fax, or via our online client management portal. Basically, I am here to assist you throughout this important process, and the better we work together the better chances you will have in getting your case completed successfully.
Green card through marriage
In a marriage-based green card case what do I need to do to get started?
First you’ll need to be married to your spouse. Then you’ll need detailed documentation to demonstrate that your marriage was entered into in good faith and not for immigration purposes. Additionally, the U.S. petitioner will need to demonstrate financial ability to sponsor the foreign national spouse throughout the immigration process. For more information, read my article on Green Card Through Marriage.
How long would this process take?
Generally anywhere from 3 to 6 months for adjustment of status cases and up to a year for consular processed cases. For more information, read my article on Green Card Through Marriage.
What happens if I receive a Request for Evidence or a Denial?
If you prepared the case yourself initially, now is the time to contact an immigration lawyer and get some advice on your case. USCIS may challenge a case for any number of reasons but generally in a marriage-based green card case, the government wants to know that the marriage is genuine in nature and that the petitioning spouse has sufficient financial means to support his/her spouse so the foreign national would not become a public charge.
I am in a same-sex relationship, does that mean that I will have a more difficult time in getting my case approved?
No. Same sex couples are now subject to the same immigration requirements and should not be scrutinized differently by USCIS. However, if there are any potentially complicating factors in your case that might jeopardize your chances of getting the green card approved, you should consider consulting an immigration attorney. For more general information read my articles on Green Card Through Marriage and Same-Sex Marriage and Immigration.
Do I need a lawyer?
This depends entirely on you but having a lawyer can make the application process a lot more efficient and save you some time in the process. Additionally, if you feel that there are any complicating factors in your situation that might make getting your case approved more difficult, consulting with an immigration lawyer from the start may help prevent further complications down the road. Contact our office if you wish to schedule a consultation.
I or someone I know needs to work in the U.S., what are some options?
There are work visa options available for foreign nationals wishing to work and live in the United States. For example, a foreign national may qualify for an H-1B work visa if he or she is in a professional field and has at least a college degree or the equivalent of one. Read my article on Basic Overview of the H-1B Visa Qualifications and Procedures. A Canadian or Mexican national may qualify for TN visa if he or she assumes a profession recognized under the North American Free Trade Agreement (or NAFTA). A foreign national working for a company overseas who wishes to work for a U.S. subsidiary company may be eligible for L-1 visa as an Intracompany Transferee.
If you are looking for work or you are the employer wishing to find out additional information about these options for potential foreign national employees, it is very important to find out as much information as you can in advance before starting any process.
My employer wants to sponsor me for a work visa but wants me to take care of everything. Is that ok?
Generally not. The process for a work visa requires a lot of information from an employer, who would be petitioning on your behalf to get the visa approved. Additionally, depending on the visa, an employer may be required to pay for the necessary costs and fees associated with the visa application. If your employer is interested in sponsoring your work visa application, it would be prudent for the employer to remain actively involved throughout the process.
How long would the process take so I can start working?
A process can take as quickly as a few days to as long as several months, depending on the process or the case itself and oftentimes how the case was organized and presented to the government. The better prepared cases tend to be approved more routinely without unexpected delays. It is always prudent to find out as much as you can in advance about any process before going forward with it. Click here if you wish to schedule an appointment with me to further discuss.