Hiring an immigration lawyer can be a big decision. You need to feel that you are making the right choice. If you are asking yourself whether you need to have an attorney represent you in an immigration matter, Powers Immigration Law can advise you regarding your immigration options. We would be delighted to hear from you.
“What should I expect at the consultation?”
Ms. Powers begins the consultation by learning about what you seek to accomplish. Your questions will be invited, thoughtfully considered, and answered frankly.
During your consultation, Ms. Powers will:
Review the details of your immigration situation thoroughly
Review your documentation
Answer any questions you have about your immigration case
Explain the immigration benefits for which you may qualify
Explain the immigration process and possible outcomes
Ms. Powers will also discuss our fees and provide you with an estimate of the total fees for your immigration case.
Ms. Powers’ personal philosophy as a lawyer is to communicate with you honestly and to help create a strategy to obtain the positive outcome you seek. When she advises you to pursue a certain immigration benefit, she explains the process as it applies to your case, the issues or challenges involved in your particular situation (to the extent she is able to discover them at the initial consultation), the processing times and the fees.
“I just have a simple question. Do I need a consultation?”
Probably, yes. Your question may seem simple, but there are often other, not-so-simple questions or issues that only an attorney may be able to spot and bring to your attention. U.S. immigration laws are complex and technical. The laws can seem to lack commonsense and be far from intuitive. For example, the question "Can I, as a U.S. citizen, get my spouse a green card?"seems like a simple question. The question is far from simple as there are a number of legal considerations. In order to answer the question, one consideration is whether your spouse is "admissible" - a loaded legal question that requires knowing the circumstances of entry into the United States, prior entries and periods of stays in the United States, any prior immigration history, any criminal history, etc.
If the simple question is "How much does it cost...?", please understand that no firm quote for legal services may be provided without a consultation. We must determine exactly what service needs to be provided and the complexity of your case. To make this determination, an attorney must carefully listen and ask questions about your particular situation.
“Who provides the consultations?”
Attorney Tanya M. Powers provides the one hour consultation.
“What should I bring to the consultation?”
Documentation: Bring all documentation related to your immigration matter. The more documentation you bring to the consultation, the easier it will be for Ms. Powers to accurately evaluate your immigration options.
Interpreters: If you cannot communicate in English or Spanish, please bring someone with you who can interpret for you.
Your spouse or fiancé: If your immigration case is based on marriage or engagement to a U.S. citizen, we ask that both you and your spouse or fiancé attend the consultation if possible. If your spouse or fiancé is not in the United States, we ask that he or she be available via phone or Skype.
Questionnaire: Plan on arriving to the consultation 20 minutes early to complete questionnaires.
“Can you tell me exactly how much you will charge to handle my case before meeting with me?”
No and here’s why. The Firm typically charges a flat legal fee, which varies based on the facts and complexity of the case. Unfortunately, the Firm cannot estimate the costs for your case with accuracy without an immigration attorney first meeting with you and reviewing your case carefully. You may believe that your immigration case is straightforward, routine and simple but there may be legal issues or difficulties that you haven’t spotted.
“Where is the consultation held?”
We offer in-person immigration consultations at our office located in Charlotte North Carolina near SouthPark mall and at our office located in Hickory North Carolina. There is simply no substitute for an in-depth, face-to-face meeting with an immigration lawyer. This option is our preferred method of analyzing your immigration case. But if you need help or advice and cannot make it into the office, we offer immigration consultations by phone or Skype. Regardless of which form of consultation you choose, Ms. Powers will be ready to thoroughly analyze your immigration case and carefully explain your rights and options.
“What should I do to get ready for my consultation?”
Whether this is your first consultation with a lawyer or you have met with many lawyers in your life, here are some things you can do to make the most of the consultation:
Write down your questions ahead of time — every single one
Bring all documentation that may be relivant to your case
Be on time
When in doubt, bring it to the appointment!
Legal fees should not be a mystery. Some attorneys charge flat legal fees for a particular process, while other attorneys charge on an hourly basis. For most legal services, immigration attorney Tanya Powers offers a flat legal fee for her time.
Powers Immigration Law offers payment plans for almost all services. With the payment plan, you decide how much you can afford to spend each month toward reaching your immigration goals. The Firm holds off on submitting any petitions or applications until all legal fees are paid in full. The payment plan is not an option for clients who have an urgent need to file applications quickly or have a deadline.
“How are legal fees set by the Firm?”
Ms. Powers usually charges a flat fee for her time working on a case. To set a flat legal fee, Ms. Powers anticipates the level of difficulty and the amount of work that will go into your case. Everyone's case is different and, accordingly, no two fees will be the same.
During the consultation, Ms. Powers will be able to advise you of the flat fees that apply in your case. In most cases, attorney's fees do not include costs such as filing fees to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which may amount to an additional several hundred dollars per person. Ms. Powers will also advise you of any costs that can be anticipated, such as courier costs and translations.
Of course, there may be variables that cannot be anticipated in any legal case, but Ms. Powers will give an honest effort to try to help you determine and anticipate all the costs involved.
If you choose to retain the Firm, Ms. Powers always puts the fee arrangements in writing.