Generally, immigrants are not required to have an immigration lawyer when applying for a visitor visa, immigrant visa or green card in the United States or overseas. If you have a simple case, are clearly eligible for the immigration benefit you are applying for, have no criminal record, or violations of the immigration law, you can obtain a immigration status without a lawyer. Moreover, if you are overseas, immigration lawyers cannot attend consular interviews with you, though they are allowed to prepare the paperwork and follow-up with the consulates.
However, there are numerous situations when you will need an experienced immigration attorney. United States Immigration law is very complicated and bureaucratic. You will need an immigration lawyer if you are being deported in immigration court proceedings, or if you are inadmissible to the United States because of a criminal conviction, or an immigration law violation. You might also need an experienced immigration attorney if you do not have the skills to complete your immigration paperwork or if you are not sure whether you can obtain a visa or petition for your green card. You can also seek help of an experienced immigration lawyer if you are encountering delays from the USCIS or U.S. consulates abroad.
Whatever you decide to do, never rely on the advice from your friends, relatives, a consulate officer or a USCIS representative, because people who work for these agencies are not attorneys and they are not allowed to give legal advice. Often the advice they provide may not be correct. If you are not sure about what to do, contact an experienced immigration attorney for a second opinion and make sure that you are not jeopardizing your rights of immigrating or staying in the United States. Contact our office for a case specific consultation.