Navigating U.S. Immigration Law: Costs and Benefits of Hiring an Immigration Attorney
Last Updated: June 19, 2023
On This Page
If you have come to the United States from another country, or plan on doing so, you should strongly consider consulting an immigration lawyer. Immigration lawyers are experts in U.S. immigration law and can help make entering the country as smooth as possible. In addition, if you experience any problems with your residency status once you arrive, a USA immigration attorney can help to set them right. Below you'll find more information about how a lawyer can help with your arrival and stay in the U.S., along with a breakdown of immigration lawyer fees.
What an Immigration Attorney Can Help With #
Whether you're moving to the U.S. alone or with family there are a number of issues that immigration attorneys can provide assistance with. Immigration law is complex and the bureaucracy involved with it can be potentially frustrating. An immigration lawyer can streamline the entry process. But, it's generally best to speak to one before arriving in the country, especially for those seeking a:
- Temporary residency permit
- Work visa
- Student visa
For immigrants currently residing in the U.S., an immigration law office can help you to:
Further, an immigration law firm can assist those who experience difficulties while planning a U.S. arrival or anybody who encounters a problem while staying in the country. Particular issues for which you should seek legal aid include:
- You are unsure of how to proceed with the next step in the immigration process
- There are potential trouble spots on your application (for example, you have a criminal history or a communicable disease)
- Your U.S. employer isn't helping with the immigration process
- Your application is denied, or a previous application was turned down
- There are serious delays in the progress of your application
- You were married to a U.S. citizen but that marriage has failed and you are attempting a status adjustment
- You are deported
- The Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is unable (or unwilling) to help you
Immigration Lawyer Average Costs #
The cost of an immigration lawyer depends on the quality of the individual attorney as well as the specific services needed by a client. With that in mind, you can generally expect to pay approximately $150 to $300 per hour in immigration attorney fees.
Many immigration attorneys also offer flat fees for assistance with particular services (such as applying for a work visa or green card) that can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. The cost for filing basic paperwork might cost around $500 to $1,000, while assistance with the entire visa process typically falls in the range of $2,000 to $12,000.
Keep in mind that in addition to the immigration lawyer cost, you will also have to pay government filing fees, which can easily add up to thousands of dollars. You can view detailed information on USCIS fees at the organization's website.
Some lawyers may ask for an up-front retainer fee after you hire them. This functions as a deposit for their services and can be around $500 to $1,000.