Immigration attorneys, also known as immigration lawyers, provide advice and guidance for matters such as visa applications, green cards, citizenship and naturalization, deportation issues, and employment for non-citizens.
Immigration attorneys may represent clients in administrative courts, or they may counsel clients about their legal rights and obligations related to immigration, among other things. They also suggest courses of action based on their knowledge of immigration law.
As of 2023, there are nearly 17,000 Immigration Lawyers & Attorneys businesses in the US, reflecting an 8% increase from 2022. During the same year, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has more than 16,000 members who practice and teach immigration law.
Key Responsibilities and Services:
Consultations and Assessments:
Immigration attorneys often begin by conducting consultations to assess a client's situation.
They evaluate the client's eligibility for different immigration benefits or relief.
Assist clients in obtaining various types of visas, such as work visas, student visas, family-sponsored visas, and more.
Provide guidance on the specific requirements and documentation needed for each type of visa.
Green Card (Permanent Residency) Applications:
Help individuals apply for permanent residency (green card).
Advise on family-sponsored, employment-based, or other categories of green card applications.
Citizenship and Naturalization:
Guide clients through the process of becoming U.S. citizens through naturalization.
Assist with the preparation of citizenship applications and represent clients during the naturalization process.
Provide legal representation for individuals facing deportation or removal proceedings.
Develop strategies to defend against deportation, including asylum claims, cancellation of removal, and other relief options.
Asylum and Refugee Status:
Assist individuals seeking asylum or refugee status due to persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries.
Help with the preparation of asylum applications and represent clients in asylum hearings.
Advise businesses on immigration compliance issues, including employment verification and Form I-9 compliance.
Assist with obtaining work visas for foreign employees.
Waivers and Appeals:
Prepare and file appeals or waivers for cases that have been denied or face challenges.
Advocate on behalf of clients to overcome inadmissibility issues.
Assist with the immigration aspects of international adoptions, including obtaining visas for adopted children.
Updates on Immigration Laws:
Stay informed about changes in immigration laws and policies to provide accurate and up-to-date advice to clients.