Atlanta Immigration Lawyers
Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
An immigration lawyer is a valuable contact for anyone involved in, or intending to be involved in, an immigration case. This includes:
- Immigrants living in Atlanta without a valid visa.
- Americans who want to bring family members or romantic partners living overseas to Atlanta.
- Foreign nationals who want to move to Atlanta to pursue career opportunities.
- Atlanta businesspeople who want to employ residents of other countries.
As the United States government allows people to complete their own visa applications, many Atlanta residents feel they don't need to use an immigration lawyer. But just as it's better to see a doctor for preventative care, it's smart to have a qualified attorney on your side to prevent immigration hassles.
Immigration lawyers in Atlanta can perform many tasks for you, including:
- Helping you complete immigration forms and ensuring no part of your application is overlooked.
- Interpreting complex immigration laws and explaining how they pertain to your case.
- Offering strategic advice to boost your chances of a successful application.
- Helping you collect compelling evidence and testimony to strengthen and support your immigration application.
- Personally advocating on your behalf to the immigration and consular officers.
Immigration lawyers are especially helpful in complex immigration cases, such as those involving people with a criminal record or people who have lived illegally in the United States for some time. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is resistant to granting visas to people in these circumstances, but a good immigration lawyer can be of help.
However, even people with relatively simple cases can benefit from an immigration lawyer's help. Think of your lawyer as a valuable resource for interpreting immigration law and a trusted partner you can count on to shoulder some of the burdens of the immigration process. People who use immigration lawyers typically feel less stressed than people who file applications alone.
Even in simple cases, it's easy to leave parts of the application empty and miss vital pieces of evidence. A top immigration lawyer will make sure your application is complete and convincing.
How to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer in Atlanta
First, make sure you're dealing with a real immigration lawyer. Some people without a license to practice law try to help people with immigration matters. These people are called visa consultants, immigration consultants, petition preparers, or notarios. While these professionals can be helpful, they cannot appear in court for their clients if needed. With some research, it's easy to learn who is a real immigration lawyer and who isn't.
After earning at least a Juris Master at an American Bar Association-approved law school, lawyers in Atlanta must receive Certification of Fitness to Practice Law by the Board to Determine Fitness of Bar Applicants. This certification determines the applicant is of good standing in the community. After receiving certification, graduates can sit for the Georgia Bar Exam. Attorneys must usually pass the Georgia Bar Exam to practice in the state.
Alternatively, licensed lawyers from other states can practice in Georgia after passing the Attorneys' Examination in Georgia.
Make sure your prospective attorney has a current license. Lawyers in Atlanta must complete 12 hours of mandatory continuing legal education every year to continue legally practicing law.
You might also look for attorneys who belong to the American Immigration Lawyers Association. While membership isn't required to practice immigration law, the organization is a great resource for current information about immigration law and future legislation that could impact your case. Membership denotes that your lawyer is up on all recent and future changes and takes a great interest in immigration law.
Watch out for lawyers who approach you at the USCIS or other immigration offices. The State Bar of Georgia doesn't consider this behavior ethical. The best immigration lawyers will also be too busy helping their clients to engage in this practice.
It's also a good idea to determine that your immigration lawyer hasn't received any disciplinary action. You can verify this via the State Bar of Georgia website, which has a searchable directory of all attorneys licensed to practice in the state. This directory lists contact details, membership information, and public disciplinary history records. You can get more information about an immigration attorney's status by calling the State Bar of Georgia helpline at 404-527-8700.
Questions for your Immigration Lawyer
- What experience do you have with cases like mine?
- What do you think my chances of success are?
- Will you personally represent me? If not, can I meet the person who will?
- How would you prefer to communicate with me?
- How frequently can I expect to hear from you?
- What fees do you charge and what do they cover? How much can I expect this work to cost in total?
- Do you have a list of references I can call?
Do your homework and you can feel confident you're choosing the best immigration lawyer in Atlanta for your needs.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Atlanta Immigration Attorneys
Our Atlanta immigration attorneys & lawyers can help you or your company secure a work visa for business-related matters, such as advising you on obtaining a short-term visa for business trip or a work visa that will allow an employee or executive work within the United States or abroad for an extended period of time.
Some of the types of visas that the Atlanta immigration attorneys on UpCounsel have helped clients obtain include: H-1B visas, which is for temporary employment in specialty occupations, O-1 visas, where an individual possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, L-1, which is for employees of an international company with offices in both the United States and abroad, E-2 visa, which is for investors, along with several other popular work visas.
Whether you or your company requires advice on obtaining a work visa for an executive, employee, or foreign national in regards to U.S. immigration or matters abroad such as: visitor visas, employee work visas, legal permanent residence (green cards), investor visas, and citizenship - our immigration attorneys can help you throughout the entire process.
Improve Your Legal ROI with Affordable Immigration Attorneys that service Atlanta, GA.
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- 8 min read
What Is the National Visa Center?
The National Visa Center is the branch that handles all resident immigrant applications after they've been submitted from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). In essence, this office is a processing center for national immigrant visas.
If you're applying for a green card in the United States, you deal with the National Visa Center, or NVC, eventually. The NVC is in Portsmouth, NH, and is part of the Department of State. It handles I-129F, I-130, I-140, I-360, I-526, I-600/A, I-730, and I-800 visa petitions.
How Petitions Are Handled
It can take up to six weeks for a petition to get from the USCIS to the National V
- 6 min read
What Is a Diversity Visa?
Diversity visas are issued through the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, also known as the green card lottery, and give over 50,000 people the chance to become residents of the United States each year. People are chosen at random from all the applicants and are from countries that have low rates of immigration to the U.S. Eligible countries are selected each year, and the application process is open for a short period of time. Being chosen for the diversity visa does not guarantee immigrant status. Lottery winners must still apply and meet the criteria.
Eligibility for the Diversity Visa
In order to successfully apply for the green card lottery, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Have a high school education or equivalent or have at least two years of experience in a career that requires at least two years of training, and must be admissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA
- 3 min read
What is a Labor Condition Application?
The Labor Condition Application (LCA) is a form employers must file with the United States Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (ETA) on behalf of employees applying for a nonimmigrant H-1B, H-1B1 (Singapore and Chile) or E-3 (Australia) work visa.
Employers submit Form ETA 9035/9035E to apply. If approved, the LCA is valid for up to three years of employment (two years for E-3).
What are an Employer’s Requirements for an LCA?
The main purpose of an LCA is for employers to attest to the employment details of H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 applicants. The Department of Labor requires employers maintain documentation supporting that the following four main labor conditions have been met:
- Wages and benefits. Employers must provide nonimmig
- 16 min read
What Is an L-1B Visa?
The L-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign company to send an employee with specialized knowledge to work at a branch of their company in the United States. L-1B visa recipients can work in the U.S. for up to five years.
There's no limit on the number of L-1B visas given out annually and no minimum wage requirements.
The L-1B visa can be used for an employee to work in the U.S. at an established branch of a foreign company or to establish a new branch of a foreign company.
Eligibility Requirements of an L-1B Visa
There are many requirements that must be met before an employee can be awarded an L-1B visa and work in the U.S. Those requirements are:
The employee must work for the foreign company for at least one continuous year within the past three years prior to working at the foreign company's affiliate in the U.S.
The employee mus