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Preparing for Your First Consultation with an Immigration Attorney

Immigrants across the United States and Texas, including Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, Sugar Land, Huntsville, Humble, Pearland, Cypress, and the surrounding areas have been seeking legal advice from immigration attorneys at an increased rate since the 2016 election of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Fears of increased enforcement of Federal immigration laws have caused many people, whom would otherwise postpone an initial consultation with an immigration lawyer to have the uncomfortable conversation about his or her immigration status.

Why Do I Need an Immigration Attorney?

During the initial consultation many people are forced to ask several questions, including the following:

  • Can I apply for asylum?
  • What are my options if I entered the United States illegally?
  • What do I do if I have been ordered deported in the past, but did not leave the United States?
  • How do certain criminal convictions affect my immigration status?
  • Can I bring my fiance(e) or spouse to the United States?
  • How do I gain the legal right to work in the U.S.?

There is no single, bright-line answer to these questions. Each person's immigration case is different and depends on various facts, including country of birth or citizenship, immediate lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen family members, criminal history, date of entry to the U.S., and more.

What Should I Bring to the Initial Consultation with a Houston Immigration Attorney?

While it may be tempting to listen to the advice of friends and neighbors, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney about your specific case. The details in your case may have a substantial impact on relief eligibility, the timeline to obtain said relief, deadlines for applications or relief, etc.

During your initial consultation with an immigration attorney it is important to remember the following things:

  1. Show Up on Time for Your Appointment: Hopefully, your attorney has more than one client. This means that he or she has a lot of duties, including court appearances, follow-up meetings with clients, staff meetings, and overall preparation. This usually results in a tight schedule. Be on time (or a little early) for your appointment to ensure the attorney can thoroughly evaluate your case.
  2. Tell the Truth About Everything: Everyone has embarrassing information in his or her past. Be sure to disclose all previous marriages, children inside and outside of the U.S., arrests and criminal convictions, and entries and exits to the U.S.  Honestly answer each of the attorney's questions. Hiding an arrest or criminal conviction can seriously affect the attorney's ability to assess your case and adequately discuss eligibility for certain forms or relief.  
  3. Bring All Immigration Documents with You to the Initial Consultation: Bring any relevant documents, including your passport, I-94 arrival document, birth certificate, hearing notices, orders of removal, applications filed, receipt notices, etc. This information is critical to determine what exactly is going on with your case. For example, it is important to know whether your U.S. citizen spouse has already filed a petition on your behalf and the petition has been approved. This can prevent the attorney from filing duplicate applications and prolonging the overall process.
  4. Write Down Any Questions for the Attorney in Advance: Whether the attorney consultation is thirty minutes or an hour, it never seems like enough time. Write down the questions you have for the attorney before the meeting. Make sure that the attorney addresses all of your questions and concerns. Often anxiety about the immigration process arises, because the client does not feel completely informed. Ask the tough questions.
  5. Be Open to the Immigration Solutions Provided by the Attorney: Customarily, an individual consults an attorney, because he or she believes the attorney has specialized knowledge about U.S. Federal immigration law, immigration court, and the deportation process, While you may have an idea about the immigration relief you qualify for, it is important to listen carefully to the solution or solutions the attorney suggests, the overall process, and the documentation and input required from you. Don't get stuck on a particular form of relief because this particular route worked for a friend or family member. Everyone's immigration process is different.

Holland Law Firm, PLLC-Houston Immigration Attorney

If you or your loved one has an immigration issue or questions about their immigration status, consult an experienced immigration attorney today. Even if you have sought legal advice in the past, it is always a good time to inform skilled legal counsel about any significant changes, including marriage, children, new employment, educational advances. and other events that can affect your immigration status.

Contact Tatiauna Holland and the Holland Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a confidential consultation at (936) 539-6882. With offices in Houston and just north of the Woodlands, the Holland Law Firm, PLLC is prepared to answer all of your legal questions.

Tatiauna Holland has experience helping clients with asylum, work authorization, permanent residence, deportation defense, and other forms of immigration relief throughout Houston, Conroe, the Woodlands, Sugarland, Stafford, Richmond, Humble, Tomball, and surrounding areas.