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Chicago Immigration Lawyers
Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
Whether you're obtaining a green card, requesting asylum, facing deportation, or dealing with any other immigration matter, you need the right immigration attorney to ensure you get all the professional assistance you need.
Immigration attorneys in Chicago, Illinois, can help you with the most common immigration concerns. They also provide these benefits:
- Representation. Depending on the immigration matter, only a licensed lawyer can represent you before the National Visa Center, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Expert Knowledge. An immigration lawyer in Chicago stays up to date on constantly changing laws. Immigration law is complicated, and you need someone who understands it to increase your chances of success.
- Professionally Filed Forms. While you can choose to research how to fill out certain immigration forms yourself, it takes a lot of time and effort. An experienced immigration lawyer can prepare your immigration documents correctly and quickly, freeing you from the extra stress.
- Mistake Prevention. Filling out your own legal forms can result in costly mistakes. In some cases, you may have to start the entire process all over again, which includes paying extra fees. An immigration lawyer in Chicago can prevent these mistakes, helping you save money.
- Fewer Delays. Immigration lawyers will help avoid lengthy delays. For example, each year, as many as 40 to 50 percent of all fiancé(e) visa petitions are not approved due to omissions or technical mistakes. An expert immigration lawyer will prevent these types of delays, helping you receive your visa or green card sooner.
There are many reasons to consult with an immigration lawyer in Chicago, including the following examples:
- You're having trouble obtaining citizenship, a USCIS green card, or other immigration benefit.
- You're not sure about your green card eligibility.
- You need to request "discretionary relief," such as a waiver or asylum.
- You need emergency help with immigration matters.
- You've been deported and wish to return to the United States
- You've been notified of deportation proceedings against you.
- You want to move to the United States to work, and your planned U.S. employer has not helped you with the immigration process.
How to Find the Best Immigration Lawyer in Chicago
To start your immigration attorney search in Chicago, look for a lawyer who is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and/or The Chicago Bar Association. These memberships show that the lawyer in question is licensed to work in Chicago.
You can learn a lot about your immigration lawyer online, including whether he or she is listed as a member of the state bar, The Chicago Bar, or the American Immigration Lawyers' Association (AILA). While AILA membership is not required, only the top immigration attorneys are members. Search for lawyers on professional networks such as Martindale-Hubbell, and seek out reviews by previous and current clients.
Always be skeptical of unrealistic promises, as not even the best immigration lawyers can guarantee success. Your case's outcome is ultimately in the hands of the immigration judge, but your attorney can help boost your chances - even if he or she can't guarantee them.
Make sure you're hiring a real immigration lawyer, not a "notario," "visa consultant," or "petition preparer." Many nonlawyers claim to offer the help you need, but they can't understand the complexities of immigration law. These fraudulent nonlawyers often offer help to foreigners looking for immigration assistance, but in most cases, they fill out forms wrong and even take your money and run.
Similarly, you should avoid any lawyer who makes you an illegal offer or gives unethical advice. For example, an unethical attorney might ask you to lie on an application or directly to a USCIS officer. He or she may suggest buying a fake green card or even bribing immigration authorities. Getting involved with this type of lawyer can make you ineligible for future green cards or visas altogether.
Before getting legal help in Chicago, be sure that:
- You understand the fees associated with hiring your immigration lawyer.
- You compare legal advice by speaking to more than one immigration attorney.
- Your immigration lawyer offers frequent updates and regular communication to help you understand your case and where it stands.
- If a paralegal prepares any of your immigration documents, confirm that the lawyer will supervise the process.
- Avoid lawyers who approach you at the immigration office or USCIS, as this is considered unethical behavior.
Questions for an Immigration Lawyer
- Do you practice in other areas besides immigration?
- Are you a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)?
- How long have you been practicing immigration law?
- Have you worked on a case similar to mine?
- What are my chances of a positive outcome and how can I improve my chances of success?
- What is your rate, acceptable payment methods, and billing dates? Can you estimate the total cost?
- Do you communicate by email, text, phone, or mail?
- Will you do everything from filing forms to representing me in immigration court?
- Have you ever been professionally disciplined and, if so, why?
No matter your immigration concern, a Chicago immigration attorney can help.
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Legal Services Offered by Our On-Demand Chicago Immigration Attorneys
Our Chicago 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 Chicago 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.
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- 7 min read
What Is Immigration Case Status?
Immigrant case status helps immigration applicants, who already have their United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) receipt number, check their immigration status using their 13-digit barcode usually found on the accepted application Form I-797 Receipt Notice. The online portal of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides updated current information on all applications, independent of where they were submitted.
Applicants can check visa applications, petitions, and extension requests using the immigration case status information system. Immigration case status can be checked using the online tool or through the phone, in person, or by email. Different offices handle immigration cases; therefore, the case number will have the corresponding letters before it. You can check your immigration case status at the American Immi
- 7 min read
What Is a U Visa?
When an immigrant is the victim of a serious crime, they're allowed to get a U visa. This lets an immigrant stay in the country. Without it, they'd return to their home country, and American law enforcement officials wouldn't have the information they need to solve the crime. The government created this law in 2000 to convince witnesses to testify.
Recently, the U visa has grown more popular. In 2009, only 10,000 people applied, while 21,000 were on the waiting list. By 2016, 60,000 applicants asked for U visas while 150,000 were stuck on the waiting list. It's a huge problem, since the government gives out only 10,000 U visas each year. The current waiting list of victims approved for a U visa is 78,066.
Because of the huge waiting list, government officials changed the rules for U visa applicants. People now wait in the United States instead of the country they came from. Even though they don't have a U v
- 6 min read
What Is a B-2 Visa?
This visa allows people from other countries to visit the United States. The B-2 visa is mainly for people traveling for pleasure. It's also known as a visitor visa. It's primarily for tourists.
What Is the Difference Between the B-1 and B-2 Visas?
When someone applies for a B visa, they must state the reason for their visit. A B-1 visa is for guests who are in the U.S. on business. A B-2 visa is mainly for travelers visiting the country for pleasure. An exception is sick people. They can enter the U.S. with a B-2 visa, listing their reason as medical treatment.
Who Needs a B-2 Visa?
The rules for international travel into the United States are complex. Someone flying in on a participating airline from a foreign country may not
- 8 min read
What is an EAD Card?
An Employee Authorization Document, or EAD Card, gives a person from another country legal authorization to work in the United States. Those who might need to obtain EAD cards include refugees, U non-immigrants, and those seeking asylum from other countries.
If an individual has a pending application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal (form I-589), or to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (form I-485), he or she may also need to apply for an EAD card. It is also necessary to apply if a person is an immigrant but under a status that doesn't allow for employment. Examples include F-1 and M-1 students.
Lawful permanent residents do not need to apply for EAD cards. The green card, also referred to as form I-551 or the