What's the US immigration lawyer's fee?
When people are thinking about immigrating to the United States, they often wonder if they should hire an immigration lawyer.
A common question to ask is: How much does it cost to hire an immigration lawyer in the US?
There are several factors that can affect the cost of hiring an immigration lawyer, such as the complexity of the case, experience and reputation of the lawyer, location of the lawyer, type of service required and timeframe of the case.
This article will discuss how much an immigration lawyer costs and related issues to help you make an informed decision about this important US immigration topic.
Table of Contents
Factors that Affect the Cost of Hiring an Immigration Lawyer
- Complexity of the case – A straightforward case costs less than a complex case requiring research, court filings, etc.
- Experience and reputation of the lawyer – Lawyers with years of experience or a good reputation often charge more.
- Location of the lawyer – Lawyers generally charge higher fees in large cities compared to lawyers in small cities and towns.
- Type of services required – Lawyers will charge more to represent you in court than to simply file an immigration form.
- Timeframe of the case – Lawyers will tend to charge a higher fee for a legal case that takes a long time.
Average Price of an Immigration Lawyer
The cost to hire an immigration lawyer is about $100 USD to $500 USD per hour, depending on the factors.
Average costs (single flat fees) for various immigration services include:
- Green Card Application: around $700 USD to $3,000 USD
- Visa Application: about $500 USD to $3,000 USD
- US Citizenship Application: around $400 USD to $1,800 USD
- Deportation Defense: about $1,800 USD to $16,000 USD
For a simple legal process that will only take a lawyer 1-3 hours to perform, an hourly rate might be the best option.
A flat rate might be preferred, however, for a complicated and/or lengthy legal process (for example, a deportation procedure).
It is common practice for an immigration lawyer to charge a single flat fee for the legal services that will be provided, which may be paid all at once or through installments (depending on the arrangement made between the client and the immigration lawyer).
Additional Costs Associated with Hiring an Immigration Lawyer
In addition to the hourly rate or flat fee to hire an immigration lawyer, there could be other costs such as:
- Filing fees (for example, the Visa Application Fee)
- Translation and interpretation fees (for example, to get documents translated into English or if you need an interpreter)
- Travel expenses (for example, if the lawyer has to travel to conduct depositions)
Ways to Minimize the Cost of Hiring an Immigration Lawyer
- Doing your own research and preparation
- Hiring an immigration lawyer for specific services rather than for the entire case
- Negotiating a flat fee or hourly rate with the lawyer
- Considering pro bono (free) services or legal aid organizations
You can deal with US immigration issues by yourself for free without a lawyer; however, hiring an immigration lawyer can help you to conduct the process correctly, make it easier for you, and it can save you time by avoiding mistakes.
An alternative is to use a review and submission service like USAFIS which can, for example, help you to properly prepare and file your application for the Diversity Visa Program.
USAFIS also offers a US Visa Assessment which can evaluate your relevant details and let you know which visa options best match your profile.
Additional supplemental services are made available by USAFIS to facilitate a smoother US relocation experience for its customers.
To check your eligibility, click here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Whether you should hire an immigration lawyer depends on the complexity and seriousness of your particular case, as well as if you can afford the expense and other factors. An experienced immigration lawyer can use his or her legal expertise to give you the best opportunity to have a successful outcome compared with trying to complete the immigration process on your own. If the US immigration procedure is relatively easy and you have good English language skills so that you can read and follow the governmental regulations correctly, then you may be able to perform the US immigration procedure by yourself.
You should consider if your case is complex and/or serious enough to require hiring an immigration lawyer, as well as whether you can afford the cost. Another factor that can affect the cost of hiring an immigration lawyer is if you need one for the entire legal process or only the most important part of it. Is it worth hiring an immigration lawyer with the most experience and best reputation or can any immigration lawyer satisfy your legal needs (for example, if you simply need to correctly file a form)?
Will the cost of hiring an immigration lawyer vary depending on the type of visa or immigration process?
Yes, the cost of hiring an immigration lawyer will vary, depending on the type of US visa or immigration process you are applying for. For example, it generally costs more to hire an immigration lawyer to handle a deportation case than to file a US visa application.
Immigration lawyers may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. It is common practice for an immigration lawyer to charge a one-time fixed or flat fee for the legal services that they will provide. The flat fee might be paid all at once or through installments, but either way it is a set amount.
The potential consequences of not hiring an immigration lawyer are that you might make mistakes during the legal process; you may not take full advantage of the law where it could be potentially beneficial to your case; and you might not achieve a successful outcome.
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