Is it longer to get a green card without a lawyer? 13 Answers as of October 06, 2011

What is the benefit of applying for marriage to get green card through a lawyer as compared to doing the same without using a lawyer's service? Does it last longer without a lawyer?

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All American Immigration
All American Immigration | Tom Youngjohn
Hiring a lawyer makes the process shorter only if the person, had they done it themselves, failed to do the paperwork correctly, and/or failed to collect all the evidence of a shared life that an experienced immigration attorney would have asked them to collect. Based on my 15+ years of experience, I can highly recommend having an experienced immigration attorney handle your case. The sad thing is that I think the good efforts of immigration attorneys have raised the standards for everyone else. But even then, it's not as easy as you think.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/6/2011
World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
Yes it does! You may not even get it without a lawyer sometimes. If it has to do with the law, the simple answer is always to get a lawyer. Period. They know how to navigate through all the problems ahead and you don't. That kind of ignorance can cost you plenty. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2011
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
The reason people say it takes longer without a lawyer is that often persons employing self-help make errors along the way or fail to anticipate the next step so valuable time is wasted in reacting to what the government tells you to do instead of knowing what comes next so you can have the documents in the file ready and waiting for the approval on the stage before. Permanent residency is complex and there lots of landmines that non-attorneys would have no way to know about. I would not recommend going through permanent residency without the guidance of a qualified immigration lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/15/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
If you know what you are doing, not necessarily. I have seen people in my office that they attempted to file on their own but made mistakes and eventually came to me for help. If you can afford it, it is the best to hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/14/2011
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
There are multiple important advantages to engaging an immigration attorney to provide legal representation in a marriage-based immigration adjustment of status application. An attorney can be instrumental in screening for eligibility; assuring the application forms and other forms are completed properly; assuring that the application package contains all required documents; assuring the couple assembles a satisfactory (or even excellent) collection of documentary evidence of the bona fide nature of their relationship; assure that the USCIS officer does his/her job correctly at the interview; address problems created by government inefficiencies and errors (even when the applicant has done everything correctly); and serve as a second stable mailing address for receipt of USCIS communications. Some immigration-related forms appear deceptively simple, and mistakes can cause substantial delays, can cause additional expense and sometimes even can create permanent and incurable problems. In the USCIS Atlanta Field Office (covering all of Georgia and Alabama), if a case is not conclusively adjudicated at the time of an interview, an applicant can expect a delay of nine months or even longer. Some immigration law firms (including mine) offer legal services on a "flat-fee" basis, rather than an hourly charge, so that total costs can be determined and budgeted at the onset. A few immigration law firms (including mine) offer an initial consultation free of charge. For most people, success in an immigration application is an exceptionally important event in their lives, and well worth the cost of hiring a professional to provide legal representation and assure that a case is prepared and handled in the best way possible.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    You may make mistake that will delay you or even worse, get yourself denied. Hiring a good lawyer prevent those from happening. In that sense, hiring a lawyer can make process quicker.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law office of Maziar Mafi | Maziar Mafi
    There is technically no time difference but in practice not having a lawyer frequently results in prolonged delays because generally you don't know how to avoid pit-falls where an experienced lawyer can.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Julian & Chin LLP
    Julian & Chin LLP | Larry F Chin
    There is no difference in the processing of your case with a lawyer. A qualified lawyer can avoid delay by making sure all of the evidence and forms are completed and included. Most importantly, a good lawyer can screen your case to make sure that you are in fact qualified to adjust status.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    In theory, the case does not take any longer to process, because you do not have an attorney. However, using an experienced attorney can usually make the case take less time. An attorney can help speed things up by making sure the proper forms are filed with the proper supporting evidence. Individuals who do things on their own often forget to include documents or complete all the necessary forms. This results in multiple requests for additional evidence that delay the processing of the case. An attorney can also help prepare you for the interview so you know what to bring and what to expect.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Fong & Associates
    Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
    Hiring a competent lawyer should ensure that the case if filed completely, timely and correctly. This will avoid the most common problems that delay cases. The processing time is exactly the same for cases filed pro se and cases prepared and filed with the assistance of an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC
    Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC | Alan R. Diamante
    Having a lawyer does not assure a faster process. However, it is easier for someone without the expertise to commit mistakes and that can cause a delay.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/14/2011
    Joseph Law Firm
    Joseph Law Firm | Jeff Joseph
    Processing times are the same regardless of whether you use a lawyer or not. However, since immigration lawyers are trained in the processes and procedures, we can often avoid lengthy delays by filing the correct documentation at the beginning of the case and avoiding requests for evidence. To that extent, lawyers can speed up the process. We would be happy to assist you with your case. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/14/2011
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