Where to Find Legal Help
Where can I get help for my immigration case?
You can get legal help for your case from a:
- Qualified nonprofit agency, or
- Private immigration lawyer.
What is a qualified nonprofit agency?
Qualified agencies have lawyers and/or specialized staff (called BIA reps) who can help with immigration cases. To find an agency near you, go to the homepage of this website, then:
- Click on your state.
- Find an agency near you.
- Check if the help you need is listed under types of legal assistance they offer. If so, call or email them. Ask if they can take your case.
Do I have to pay the nonprofit to help me with my immigration case?
Help from a qualified nonprofit is free or low-cost for low-income people. If you use a private lawyer, you will have to pay the lawyer's fee.
Will it cost money to talk to a lawyer?
You may have to pay for your first meeting or "consultation" with a lawyer. You should ask about consultation fees before making an appointment. Talking to a lawyer does not mean that they will accept your case.
How do I find a private lawyer if a nonprofit can't help me?
You can search for a lawyer who knows about immigration law at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's website.
How much will a private lawyer charge me?
First Appointment: Most lawyers charge for the first appointment (consultation) separately. It's your chance to get to know the lawyer and see if they can take your case. Before you meet with a private lawyer, ask how they charge for the first appointment.
Case Fees: If you decide to hire that lawyer, and they can take your case, the lawyer will ask you to sign an agreement that shows you have hired them. Before you sign, ask the lawyer to give you these things:
- A written estimate of the lawyer's fees;
- A list of services they will provide for that fee;
- A list of things you need to do to help with your case; and
- An estimate of how long your case will take.
How can I help my lawyer or nonprofit with my case?
You and your lawyer or nonprofit will work closely together. Here are some things you can do to help your case go more smoothly:
- Be honest and tell your whole story. If you get any new information, tell it too. The more your lawyer knows about your case, the stronger your case will be.
- Get the documents you need. You will probably have to show your passport, ID, tax documents, and more.
- Stay in touch. Your lawyer or nonprofit may need to contact you. If you move or change your phone number, let them know.