What will an Immigration Attorney need from you to advise you properly?
By Staff Attorney
We often get phone calls from people who wish to know how to fix their immigration status. However, we cannot provide the client with proper legal advice unless the client provides us with the necessary information/documentation.
So what information/documentation should you prepare when contacting an immigration attorney? While the list may vary depending on your specific case, there is some general information that you should be ready to present to the attorney so that she may may assess your case properly. If you do not have all of the listed documentation, you can still make an appointment. However, you should make an effort to obtain as much information as possible from the below list:
- Complete legal name
- All Aliases/all other names used
- Dates of all entries to the US
- Family in the US and legal status of family (children, spouses, parents, siblings)
- Whether any family member has ever filed an immigration petition on your behalf (copy of the receipt notice, date of filing , case #, decision, etc). If you do not have the documentation , provide as much information as possible: name of petitioner, relationship and approximate date of filing
- If you have ever had an encounter with an immigration officer – details of the situation:
- When this happened?
- How it happened?
- Where it happened?
- What happened?
- Copies of all documents should be brought to the appointment (organize them chronologically)
- If you have ever been removed, bring orders of removal
- Alien #, if available
- Helpful documents
- Picture id (your home country or from any state in the USA)
- Passport with visas, as applicable
- Form I-94, as applicable
- Marriage certificate, as applicable
- Children's birth certificates, as applicable
- Certified court dispositions, as applicable
Most clients call because they think they qualify for a specific benefit. This is a great start but it does not end there. An immigration attorney's duty is to assess the client's case in its totality. A client may think he qualifies for benefit X but in reality he qualifies for benefit Y, or perhaps he does not qualify for any relief at the moment. It is crucial that clients provide their attorney with as much information as possible. The more we know, the better our assessment will be. If the client does not have any documentation but does have an immigration history, there are ways to obtain these documents. However, we need information regarding dates/facts. Help your attorney help you. Be prepared for your appointment. Be prepared before you call with your questions. Your immigration case is important!