Why Hire an Immigration Lawyer?
U.S. immigration law is a bureaucratic world unto itself, a world full of jargon, and a world with picky rules, rules which are often unstated, poorly stated, or without any apparent purpose. In this world, it is very easy for the inexperienced applicant or petitioner to become lost. What initially looks like a simple task of filling out forms and paying fees rapidly turns into a trip through the looking glass, full of hostile adjudications officers, consular personnel, and border agents, all asking repetitive and beguilingly simple questions. The unwary applicant soon receives cryptic requests for additional evidence which are often incomprehensible. But I already sent that in! I have no idea what they want from me! These are common reactions to communications from the agencies responsible for enforcing immigration rules. In Mr. Alfred's experience as an Adjudications Officer, approximately one quarter of all green card applications are denied. The consequences for the potential immigrant in the case of a denied green card application is, at a minimum, the loss of thousands of dollars in fees and the loss of months or years of time. Yet many denied green card applications will also eventually result in the issuance of a Notice to Appear in front of an immigration judge, the beginning of the removal process more commonly known as deportation. The overwhelming majority of denied applicants and petitioners have no attorney. Hiring an immigration lawyer is a form of insurance-- it greatly increases the chances of your case being approved, and it greatly decreases the risk of a catastrophic denial, resulting in removal or exclusion from the U.S. A good lawyer should also minimize the time and frustration involved in bringing your case to a happy ending.
Distinctive Experience and a Long-term Approach
Unlike most immigration lawyers, Joseph W. Alfred possesses actual work experience as an adjudicator of immigration applications and petitions for the government. He knows how immigration files are handled, created, and read by the people that make decisions on your case. He has read and handled literally thousands of “alien” files while working for the government. Consequently, he knows how best to prepare your forms and supporting evidence to convince the examiner that your case deserves to be approved right away. He can assess the evidence you gather, removing what is not persuasive and what would actually hurt your case. If a problem occurs, or a case requires special handling, he knows which levers to pull, and more importantly, which ones not to pull. Mr. Alfred also possesses the breadth of immigration-related knowledge to handle your case throughout your life. He is not simply a specialist in one type of visa or immigration category, but an attorney who can handle your case all the way through citizenship, if you wish. As you move through the immigration process from non-immigrant to immigrant, from conditional resident to permanent resident, from permanent resident to citizen, your “alien” file with the U.S. government grows larger and more complex. Unexplained discrepancies between old and new material in your file can cause delays or denials in your case. At all times in the process, Mr. Alfred is focused on potential long-term effects on your case, not simply getting you through the one stage in the immigration process for which you have currently hired him. He wants to be your immigration attorney as long as you need one.