In today’s globalized world, immigration has become an integral part of our society. Whether for work, study, or personal reasons, individuals often find themselves navigating complex legal procedures to relocate to another country. This is where immigration lawyers play a crucial role. With their expertise in immigration law, they assist individuals in understanding and navigating the legalities associated with international migration.
An immigration lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in immigration law and helps clients navigate the complex immigration process. Here are some of the things that an immigration lawyer does:
- Interpret the law: Immigration lawyers interpret the law and help clients analyze their rights, possibilities, and strategies
- Guide clients through the immigration process: Immigration lawyers guide clients through every step of the complicated immigration process
- Assist with applications: Immigration lawyers assist clients with citizenship, naturalization, green card, and visa applications
- Provide defense against deportation: Immigration lawyers provide defense against deportation
- Represent clients in court: Immigration lawyers may represent clients in administrative courts, immigration courts, or other legal proceedings
- Research the law: If a client is in deportation or removal proceedings in immigration court, the lawyer will research the law to find every possible avenue of relief
- Prepare clients for court appearances: Immigration lawyers help clients and any witnesses prepare for court appearances
- Write briefs: Immigration lawyers write briefs arguing the law on behalf of their clients
- Provide advice and guidance: Immigration lawyers provide advice and guidance to clients
- Speak or learn a second language: Immigration lawyers may need to speak or learn a second language in addition to English to better serve their clients
- Be a member of professional organizations: The majority of accomplished immigration lawyers are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Glossary: 20 Essential Immigration Lawyer Terms
- Visa: A legal document permitting entry and stay in a foreign country for a specified purpose and duration.
- Green Card: Officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, it grants lawful permanent residence status in the United States.
- Naturalization: The process through which a foreign citizen becomes a citizen of a new country.
- Deportation: The forced removal of a non-citizen from a country due to legal violations or immigration status issues.
- Asylum: Protection granted to individuals fleeing persecution or danger in their home countries.
- Citizenship: The legal status of being a recognized member of a particular country with accompanying rights and responsibilities.
- USCIS: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a government agency responsible for immigration-related matters.
- Work Permit: A document that allows foreign nationals to work legally in a specific country for a limited period.
- Sponsorship: When an individual or organization supports and takes responsibility for another person’s immigration process.
- Refugee: An individual forced to flee their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution.
- I-94: An arrival and departure record issued to non-immigrants entering the United States.
- Adjustment of Status: The process of changing an individual’s immigration status from non-immigrant to immigrant while already in the United States.
- Consulate: The diplomatic office of a country located in another country, responsible for issuing visas and providing consular services.
- Petition: A formal request submitted to the relevant immigration authority for a specific immigration benefit.
- Naturalization Test: An examination that assesses an individual’s knowledge of the country’s history, government, and civic principles as part of the naturalization process.
- H-1B Visa: A non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations.
- Affidavit of Support: A document demonstrating that an individual has the financial support to sponsor an immigrant and ensure they will not rely on public assistance.
- PERM Labor Certification: A process that employers must go through to demonstrate that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for a particular job position.
- NVC: The National Visa Center, responsible for collecting and processing documents for immigrant visa cases.
- Immigration Court: A specialized court that hears cases related to immigration and determines the outcomes, such as deportation or asylum grants.