Immigration Attorney Consultations: What You Should Know Before You Get Here:
What Documents Do You Need?
An immigration consultation will examine all aspects of your immigration case. The first questions might be about when and where you were born. They’ll most definitely include when and where you have entered the United States (every time), and anything that has been filed for you with Immigration. Because the consultation might cover so many topics, here are a few ideas of documents you should bring (if possible):
- Your birth certificate
- Your marriage certificate
- All documents related to your immigration case (including old receipts, approval or denial notices, and other papers you have received from Immigration)
- Your most recent taxes
- Your children’s birth certificates
- All documents related to any time you have been arrested by the police or charged with a crime.
If you have scheduled a telephone or internet consultation, then we will need these documents before the consultation. You can e-mail them or fax them to our office.
What Questions Will You Ask?
Although it’s impossible to know exactly what questions we’ll ask, you definitely need to know about the following topics and issues so that we can give you accurate advice:
- When and where you were born
- When and where your parents and grandparents were born
- How many times you’ve been married (as well as when and where)
- How many times you’ve been arrested by the police (including when and where)
- Your children’s names and dates of birth
- Whether you or anyone else have ever filed anything with Immigration on your behalf
- When you entered the United States the last time
- How many times you’ve entered the United States (and in what manner)
- Whether you have ever been deported
- Whether you have ever lied to an immigration official
How Long Will the Consultation Last?
Most consultations take about an hour. You can help to reduce the time it takes to analyze your case by bringing all of your immigration documents with you and being prepared to talk about and answer questions about your criminal, marital, and immigration history.
Can I Bring My Children to the Consultation?
Yes, you may bring your children. Many of our clients bring their children to the office with no problem. However, you should consider several things when deciding whether you should bring your children:
- Are you comfortable talking about your criminal history, your marriage, your immigration history, and other topics your children might not know about, even if your children are with us? If having your children in the room will make it difficult or impossible for you to discuss these things in depth, then you should get a babysitter.
- Can your children sit still for about an hour? Another reason not to bring your children will be if they have a hard time sitting still for an hour. Most children have no problem sitting still. But if they need to bring along toys or coloring paper, please bring them with you so that your children can feel comfortable during the consultation. In very rare cases, we may have to cut the consultation short if your children are so upset that we cannot continue.
Will You Talk With My Friends and Family About My Case?
Not unless you give us permission in writing. Often we receive phone calls after a consultation from a client’s family member or friend, asking that we explain what we said during the consultation. Sometimes, for example, a client’s mother wants to clarify what we advised the client or has follow-up questions. The law prohibits us from talking with others about your case or revealing any confidential information without your permission. Because of this, we will not communicate with your friends or family members about your case unless you have us permission in writing. This is not because we are trying to be mean or secretive, but because everything you tell your attorney is confidential, and we want you to have confidence that we will keep it confidential.
Will We Answer More Questions After the Consultation?
It is very common for a client to have a question after the consultation that they simply forgot to ask. We understand this and encourage you to send an e-mail if you have further questions. The attorney will respond to your e-mail and try to answer any further questions you have. If it appears you have an entirely new issue (i.e. a new criminal conviction or a completely new development in your immigration case) we may need to schedule another consultation.