Protecting one’s citizenship is no small feat; as such, being on the right legal path is crucial. The paperwork, various immigration laws, and detailed processes are not a cakewalk for the layman. Let alone for someone who may not speak English as the first language. This is where an experienced citizenship immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale can help settle your case, especially if you are on the path to citizenship. Your attorney will also represent your rights. An immigration attorney helps you understand the process of citizenship, immigration benefits, and your rights as a person living in the United States.
Here are some tips on how to choose the right Fort Lauderdale immigration lawyer for you.
Check the Credentials
Often there are cases of people being scammed by someone pretending to be an immigration citizenship attorney. One way to prevent this is by only shortlisting attorneys who are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). While this membership is not mandatory for immigration attorneys, being part of AILA assures credibility. Membership keeps them abreast of the latest laws, policies, and practices in the field. This also indicates that the attorney is an active member of the community and is committed to the practice.
Focus on Experience
Immigration laws can be tricky, and requires handling challenging situations at times. Moreover, all immigration cases are not the same. While looking for an immigration attorney in Fort Lauderdale, choose one who has experience in dealing with a variety of cases, and particularly ones that are similar to yours, including citizenship. Often, lawyers who practice other fields of law also have a good understanding of immigration law, but it is always better to go for an attorney who exclusively specializes in this field.
Well-versed with your Native Language
Language often stands in the way of a US citizenship for people who do not speak English fluently. It is important to consider hiring an immigration lawyer who is fluent in reading and speaking your native language. After all, the immigration process is rather intensive and entails a lot of research, correct documentation, and legal jargon. If you and your attorney cannot communicate correctly, things may be misunderstood or left out, creating an obstacle for your citizenship rights.
Check Reviews and References
Word-of-mouth publicity works most of the time, but do not simply take anyone’s word for it. Rather, trust people who have gone through similar immigration processes and get a first-hand account of how the lawyer helped them at each step, whether the consultations were kept confidential, and how comfortable they were made to feel along the process. If you are doing your research online, Avvo.com is a reliable resource. Look for someone with a good Avvo rating when searching for Fort Lauderdale immigration attorneys to handle your case.
Shortlist Candidates and Interview Them
Anyone can be excellent at marketing, so to get a good idea of your immigration attorney’s capabilities, consider interviewing the ones you have shortlisted. A good lawyer will be understanding of your specific needs, be prompt with returning calls and emails, and well-versed in immigration legalities from different countries. In addition, a trustworthy immigration attorney will have no qualms about sharing client contacts for references. During the interviews, pay attention to their personality traits and working styles. They should be confident and tough enough to fight your case, but sympathetic at the same time.
It is often a good idea to hire a lawyer who is an immigrant themselves, as they are equipped to understand your case, both emotionally and professionally.
Do not Blindly Hunt for a Bargain
The fee is certainly an important factor when choosing a citizenship immigration lawyer. But do not make the mistake of making this the only factor. When it is the matter of your citizenship, going on a blind bargain hunt is not the best approach. At the same time, it does not mean that the most expensive attorney is the best one either! Instead, find out whether he/she charges a flat rate or by the hour. The entire fee system should also be explained to you beforehand so you can make informed decisions.
Choosing an immigration attorney does not have to be an overwhelming task. All you need to do is ask the right questions and follow these tips. After that, it is about whom you feel the most comfortable with and can trust with handling your citizenship requirements. The Law Offices of Connie Kaplan, P.A. offer representation that you can trust. Being an immigrant with degrees from esteemed colleges like State University of New York and Nova Southeastern University, Attorney Kaplan has a reputation for being a most trusted immigration representative in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. You can rest assured that you will be in good hands.