Where to Find Legal Help
Where can I get help for my immigration case?
You can get legal help for your case from a:
o Qualified non-profit agency, or
o Private immigration lawyer.
What is a qualified non-profit 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:
1. Click on your state.
2. Find an agency near you.
3. 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 non-profit to help me with my immigration case?
Help from a qualified non-profit 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 s/he will accept your case.
How do I find a private lawyer if a non-profit 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 s/he can take your case. Before you meet with a private lawyer, ask how s/he charges for the first appointment.
Case Fees: If you decide to hire that lawyer, and s/he can take your case, the lawyer will ask you to sign an agreement that shows you have hired him/her. Before you sign, ask the lawyer to give you these things:
o A written estimate of the lawyer's fees;
o A list of services s/he will provide for that fee;
o A list of things you need to do to help with your case; and
o An estimate of how long your case will take.
How can I help my lawyer or non-profit with my case?
You and your lawyer or non-profit will work closely together. Here are some things you can do to help your case go more smoothly:
o 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.
o Get the documents you need. You will probably have to show your passport, ID, tax documents, and more.
o Stay in touch. Your lawyer or non-profit may need to contact you. If you move or change your phone number, let them know.