Immigration law in the United States contains a massive set of rules, regulations, and processes, mostly handled at the federal level, that govern the entry of foreign nationals into the country — along with the rights, duties, and obligations associated with that entry. The immigration process can be intimidating and take a long time, but hiring an immigration attorney to support you with your case can speed up the process and help you meet your goals.
Why is an immigration lawyer helpful?
Immigration attorneys can help speed up your immigration case in a few different ways. The most obvious is by using their knowledge and experience to make the process go more smoothly and easily.
- Help you consider your options. Part of being successful in your immigration case is making sure that you have petitioned for the right kind of visa or status in the first place. If there are multiple options available, consulting with an attorney can help you determine the advantages and disadvantages of each option and advise you on the expected timeline of each.
- Help you complete immigration petitions. If government paperwork were simple and straightforward, it might not be worth hiring an attorney, but it’s often very confusing and requires legal knowledge for completion. Most government documents are not written in a way that makes sense to the average non-lawyer, no matter how educated and successful they may be in their field. Immigration paperwork often requires a level of knowledge about the laws surrounding the kind of paperwork that needs to be submitted. Hiring a lawyer to help with the petition process means less time spent figuring out what to do and more time doing it.
- Help your case stay up-to-date. Just like the paperwork itself, processing immigration paperwork, whether for the DACA program or the H-2B guest worker program, is complicated. Multiple agencies and documents are involved, and if there is any need for documentation correction or an appeal at any stage, the process just becomes an even bigger maze. Ideally, you’ll avoid the need for correction in the first place by hiring an experienced immigration lawyer, but if your case is challenged, you must be aware and get to work on it quickly to avoid huge delays or even denials. Similarly, if there is a lottery involved, it’s extremely important that the timing be just right.
- Help you continue to stay compliant. The petition process is only one part of immigration law. Once you have been approved, whether you are an employer or a green card holder, you have duties and obligations to the U.S. if you want to maintain your status. You have to keep up with renewals, documentation, paperwork, taxes, and many other responsibilities that are associated with being a beneficiary of the U.S. immigration system. When you don’t adhere to these requirements, you not only delay the process of maintaining legal status, but your life or business can come screeching to a halt.
How can immigration attorneys help employers?
Immigration attorneys are a valuable resource for employers whose forward-thinking business strategies include leveraging an international workforce. If this sounds like you — or where you want to be — you’re not alone. Would you be surprised to learn that 17% of the U.S. civilian labor force consists of immigrants?
Not all of the 28.6 million immigrant employees in the United States are living and working in the U.S. exclusively as beneficiaries of employment-based visas like the H-2A and H-2B program offers. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has over two dozen classifications for temporary non-immigrant workers and five classifications for permanent workers.
Whether you are an employer looking to solve your construction labor shortage or just want to make sure you’re on the up and up when it comes to the E-Verify system, an experienced business immigration attorney can help.
When it comes to the I-9 Form and employment eligibility verification, an attorney can help keep the hiring process moving and get your team to work faster. They can also help you avoid costly — or even criminal — mistakes.
- All U.S. employers must correctly complete an I-9 for every employee they hire for employment, and timing matters.
- Simple mistakes, such as using an outdated I-9 form, can result in stiff penalties, costing businesses thousands of dollars.
- Audits are up, with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducting thousands of investigations annually.
- Compliance with federal hiring and labor regulations means following a number of different rules ー the I-9 is just the beginning.
When you find the right candidate, you want to make sure nothing keeps them from joining your team. Time is money, and productivity should never have to suffer because of preventable administrative errors.
How can immigration attorneys help foreign nationals?
People make the decision to come to the U.S. for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, that choice was made for them, such as in the cases of those who were brought to the U.S. as children.
If you are considering applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or need to renew your DACA status, an immigration attorney can help you understand your options, help you build the strongest case for yourself, and speed up the process to help you avoid delays that could put you at further risk for deportation.
Other situations where a speedy process is crucial to successful legal status in the U.S. include
Whether you are in need of ongoing legal support with strategic solutions for your business’s labor force or need an advocate who can help you with your own immigration case, Farmer Law’s team of passionate and accomplished attorneys offers world-class communication and responsiveness to all clients. Contact Farmer Law today!