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How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Immigration Attorney in the U.S.?

Posted: December 24, 2022 at 8:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

You might not know it, but immigration attorneys are not usually paid as much as other types of attorneys. This is because of the nature of most immigration cases. 

Lawyers who practice immigration law know that most immigrants have financial issues due to the complex nature of getting a job in the U.S. This has led attorneys to charge fees on immigration cases based on the need. 

Though it might be pretty affordable to get the legal services of an immigration attorney, you will incur some costs. So, you should know about the different factors that would add to the charges before you seek an attorney. 

Source: Unsplash

What is the typical rate for an immigration attorney?

If you live in Rochester, New York, you can first consult with an attorney. Note that most times, the initial consultation is counted among the first costs. After that, consider the standard rates attorneys take in the practice area. Additionally, you should consider your green card application cost and other services.

For instance, a business visa usually costs $160. But, a family visa could be about $1,000 to get the petition and application fees. Sometimes, the application cost could vary based on the prices as regards specific locations in the U.S.

When an immigrant is undergoing removal proceedings, the attorney might decide to charge based on what is required to finish the process. These charges would cover court appearances, motions filed, bond hearings, lawyer government negotiations, filing applications for relief removal, and other sides of the case. 

Additionally, case complexity could affect the cost. This means that an immigration case could be anywhere from $1,500 or $10,000. Most times, this would not include the appeal process cost. Some attorneys charge based on the hour when they represent their clients. This could cost from $100 to $350 for an hour. 

Attorneys working with large firms usually charge more than smaller ones. This is because the cost of running a large firm is also included. Conversely, when working with an attorney in a large firm, you might increase your chances of your immigration case being successful since large firms usually hire experienced attorneys. 

Individual attorneys also have their good points. Some have created a strong reputation for themselves in the field, and such attorneys would charge a high rate since they have extensive experience and service quality. 

Using the services of an experienced attorney during your representative can help ensure you have a favorable outcome for your case. Your best bet at finding the right attorney is to research every lawyer you find and know their qualifications, experiences, and previous successful cases. 

Is a consultation fee a must for an immigration attorney?

When searching for the right attorney, you will consult with different ones. Most times, these consultations are the first cost for every immigration case. Many attorneys usually charge $100 to $400 for case consultation, while others might give their prospective clients a free consultation. 

Most attorneys charge fees because they spend time during the consultation, and not consultations lead to representation. This happens because only some immigrants have a visa or an available option. 

Individuals should expect to pay a consultation fee with an attorney. But, it would help if you only settled for an attorney that fits you and your case. Sometimes, when you are to be represented by an immigration attorney, the lawyer might add the fee to a late charge which would be paid after the case is closed.

Factors that can affect the cost of hiring an immigration attorney

When choosing an attorney to represent you for your immigration cases, several factors can affect the total cost you would spend. Let’s find out some of them:

Your specific case

Some cases would only need filling out or adequately completing the forms. On the other hand, some require you to be represented in court, like when facing criminal charges or deportation. Such factors and other services will add to the cost of hiring a lawyer. 

The extent of services

The extent and type of services can also dictate the cost of hiring a lawyer. You might need citizenship for your relatives, while others might need help to get a business visa. During the consultation, the attorney would discuss the details of your case and tell you if they can provide representation. They will also discuss their charges with you during the consultation.

Their experience level

This is the main factor that affects the rate an attorney charges. Some attorneys might be pretty new to immigration law and might not be perfect, so they charge less. This said, it would be best to work with those with prior experiences and success. Your rate of success increases based on the attorney’s experience. 

The case difficulty

Sometimes, the scope of the services might be the same, but the attorney’s rate will depend on the difficulty of the case. For instance, when the beneficiary already had a past denial, the immigration petition might be more challenging. The attorney would have to use more effort and time. This would result in the legal fee being higher than the typical case.

The location of the attorney

The location where attorneys practice also affects their price when hired. For example, when a practicing attorney lives in a large city, they would charge more than a lawyer who lives in a small city would charge. Also, certain states have additional fees that are added. So it would help if you took note of this.

Conclusion

Due to the high cost of hiring an immigration attorney, some individuals might wonder if it is necessary. Hiring an immigration attorney is often recommended to streamline the immigration process. Through consultation with an attorney, you can find out the costs before you choose an attorney. 

From the cost of your case, the location of the attorney, your case scope, and other factors, you can find out how much it would cost you for legal representation for your case.

The cost of hiring an attorney in the United States is usually likely lower than what it would cost you if you lose your immigration case without proper representation.

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