An immigration lawyer has essentially three roles:
- Often, people will come to us to file an I-130, but the person they want to file the I-130 for is not eligible for a green card now or perhaps even in the future. The attorney can put or give some perspective to the applicant as to whether or not, even if they are able to file an I-130, the person for whom they file the visa petition is going to be able to actually immigrate to the U.S.
- A good or experienced immigration attorney will be able to assess the strength of the visa petition and let you know if you don’t have all of the required documents what are other sources of proof, secondary evidence, that you can submit to prove the relationship to your relative. That is oftentimes that there isn’t a marriage certificate or birth certificate, but you may have to use extrinsic or secondary evidence to attach the petition and have it approved.
- Fundamentally, a good immigration attorney will be able to have the form filled out and all the necessary documents obtained and sent to the proper place in the minimum amount of time for a reasonable cost.
The other thing about the I-130, is that sometimes the I-130 petition is required to go through an interview that is separate from any kind of green card application or court hearing. It is just based on the facts of the application and whether the officer reviewing the file can make a decision one way or the other whether to approve the petition. In some of those situations the I-130 petition is subject to an interview. Depending on where the person is immigrating from, the level of evidence may be required to be increased because they are coming from what are considered high-fraud countries where individuals or past practices have shown that fake marriages or even family relationships may exist and/or have been filed before, and so the embassy is very wary of those kinds of applications. In these complicated circumstances, it is tremendously helpful to have a qualified immigration lawyer at your side.
Attorneys like ourselves will also consider in what circumstances their client is filing the I-130; are they being proactive because they met the love of their life while they were in college or at school, or at work, and there are no other existing issues? Or, is it because the person has been deported or is in deportation proceedings or removal proceedings right now and are in need of the petition? There is also the circumstance where the individual or the petitioner may have a background that could be negative to the petition, so there are issues that need to be taken care of there. A qualified immigration attorney can help.
Learn more about the immigration services provided by Philip Levin & Associates.