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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer a free initial consultation?

While we do not offer free in-depth consultations, an attorney or intake specialist is glad to speak with you for a few minutes to do a screening, answer questions you may have about us and make sure that we can meaningfully address your questions in a more in-depth consultation. We do not want to waste your time or money, so we will let you know if it seems your particular issue is outside the scope of our expertise.

When we do meet you for an initial consultation the attorney will take time to carefully review your circumstances and answer whatever questions you may have. The attorney will also explain the appropriate immigration laws and give you an honest and thorough assessment of your options. Our goal is for you to leave the initial consultation empowered.

How much is the initial consultation?

Our initial consultation fee is $400.

Why do I need an initial consultation? Why can’t you answer my questions over the phone before I come to the office?

Immigration law is complicated. The laws have changed over the years and continue to frequently change. During the prior administration, there were over 1000 major changes within 4 years, amounting to something new nearly every day. During the initial consultation we will get to know your unique circumstances in the context of the immigration laws so that we can provide a tailored assessment. We will also spend time explaining the applicable laws and rules so you can make the most informed decision for yourself and your loved ones. Of course, it is our hope to help you identify the most efficient and cost-effective immigration options, but sometimes it may be the case that we do not see any viable options for you under the current state of the laws. If this happens, we hope you will find value in knowing you may have avoided filing something for which you are not eligible, wasting time and money and potentially causing even more complications.

I just have one or two simple questions. Can’t I just ask you my question on the phone before we meet?

For better or worse, immigration law in the United States is not at all simple. Immigration law is complicated to begin with, and to complicate matters even more, the laws have changed over the years and continue to constantly change. Although immigration law is under the auspices of federal law, there are still differences in how laws are interpreted throughout the United States. We often hear clients compare their circumstances to a friend or loved one. While it is natural to want to do so, it can be dangerous to make assumptions this way. Someone may seem to be in a similar situation on the surface, but there can be many variables. It is always best to consult with a reputable, experienced immigration attorney to avoid costly mistakes and pitfalls.

Do you provide phone, Zoom or Skype consultations?

Yes. This is our preferred way to meet since COVID-19 hit in March of 2020.

How much will a case cost? Can you give me a quote for a particular case over the phone?

We bill hourly for most of our legal services. This way you are only billed for time actually spent as opposed to having us guess how much time a process will take and potentially overcharge you if we spend less time. On the other hand, we are also careful not to undercharge and have too many cases so that it risks negatively impacting the high quality of services we provide. Whenever possible, we can accept a down payment and then work out a plan for remaining payments in installments according to when we will be performing the work on your case. We provide personalized service based on years of experience practicing exclusively immigration law. We are there for you every step of the way in your case. You will probably find there are attorneys charging less, and attorneys charging more.

We do not quote a range of legal fees until we have the chance to first meet with you. During our initial consultation we will get to know your unique circumstances in the context of the applicable immigration laws so that we can do our best to provide an assessment, and a range of estimated fees, tailored to your case. There are so many variables that need to be considered. While we truly understand why a potential client wants to know even a general estimate, we don’t feel that it is responsible to create any expectations before first having an understanding of all the unique circumstances of the case. At the end of your consultation, the attorney will give you an honest, straightforward assessment of your options and the likely costs for each option. It will then be up to you to decide. We understand choosing an attorney is a big decision and encourage you to decide which attorney feels right to you.

Do I really need an immigration lawyer?

This answer depends on many factors. Whether or not you ultimately decide to hire us or another qualified immigration attorney for a particular case, we do strongly recommend at least having an in-depth consultation. This can really be invaluable. Once you have all the information you need, you can decide whether you need an attorney. Immigration law is very nuanced, complicated and ever changing. It may seem straightforward to fill out and file a form, but there is much more that needs be taken into consideration to avoid delay, pitfalls or denials. For example, every time a new form is filed with immigration, any past immigration history, filings, entries and exits will be scrutinized by the adjudicator. For that reason, it’s wise to have an attorney specializing in immigration law screen for any potential complications and then manage the process. It is not our intention to sound scary, but we often encounter clients who have filed something incorrectly or filed something that should not have been filed. An ounce of caution in the beginning of the process can literally save years and thousands of dollars. So, the moral of the story is, at least have a consultation and probably hire an attorney.

Other attorneys offer free consultations, why don’t you offer a free consultation?

We block out time to review your documents, get to know your unique history and explain the immigration law and options to you. Our aim is to give you valuable information and tools to make the most informed decision for yourself and your family at the end of that hour. We will not rush you in and out of my office. While there may be attorneys who offer a free thorough initial consultation, it’s often the case that the meeting will be rushed and lack the personalized level of detail we believe is critical.

Please also see the answers about consultations above.

How does hourly billing work?

Once the attorney assess your case in the initial consultation they will provide you with an estimate of the total for the case and request payment in that amount. Often, we can also offer payment plans as a courtesy. Our objective is to have enough funds in your IOLTA trust account (which is almost like a savings account dedicated for your case) ahead of the work that needs to be done so we can draw on those funds when we perform work on your case. Each month that we work on your case, you will get a detailed bill including descriptions of all the work that has been done on your case. If there are funds in this account at the end of your case, we return them to you.

We have found that hourly billing is the fairest to all parties involved and allows us more flexibility to adjust the scope of our representation if there are any changes in the laws or procedures. We feel this is actually more fair than increasing flat fees across the board. And we’ve noticed that cooperative clients have often been paying us less overall than if we would have charged on a flat-fee basis. We will make sure all your questions about billing, and anything else related to our potential working relationship, are answered before you make the down payment and sign the contract.