A good immigration lawyer can be the difference between a smooth transition to a new country and a nightmare legal battle that ends up costing you a fortune and might not even get you the result you desire.

Whether you are seeking to file a petition for a visa or green card, trying to avoid deportation, or applying for some other immigration benefit, taking the time to find the right person to represent you will not be something you regret doing.

1. Knowledge & Research

It is true that good legal representation doesn’t come cheap and it can be tempting to set out to do things on your own. Although it is not required that you have legal representation in order to submit your package of application for a visa, for example, it is advisable to consider whether or not have a trained professional help guide you through the process could be worth it in the long run.

Regardless of how well you do your research, it is important to appreciate that the immigration system remains fluid and with policies and regulations changing regularly, it can be a very difficult topic to stay on top of. Immigration lawyers are specialists whose job it is to stay up to date with every new development and to help their clients address the right concerns, ask the right questions, and be prepared for meetings or interviews with officials.

2. Resources

Once you’ve decided to seek immigration expertise of a professional lawyer, you should think of this person as a resource through all stages of the process. If you decide to go the federal route for your application, for example, you could already have access to aids and lawyers through the program you apply for.

In order to find the right lawyer for you, it is advisable to check out the Canadian Immigration portal. This site will walk you through the steps and make sure you’re looking for the right type of lawyer and better understand the types of services they offer.

3. Industry Specialty

If you’re going to invest the resources to get yourself a lawyer, you want to make sure you get someone who knows what they are doing. Unlike other fields of law where it might be advisable to seek the help of a large firm, immigration lawyers usually practice independently. References and referrals are probably your most reliable means of seeking advice when it comes to finding the right person. No matter what you do, get someone who specializes in immigration law.

4. Experience & Accomplishments

Practiced immigration lawyers will regularly write articles reflecting on their experiences and discussing difficult cases or changing laws. It is a good idea to request samples of the lawyer’s published articles in order to get a sense of where they are truly most accomplished.

While reading through them, look for quality and subject matter that reflects a real interest in the field and demonstrates the ability for in-depth analysis, a wide range of knowledge, and broad case selection.

5. Communication

Despite extensive experience, sometimes people who have been working in a field for a long time stop seeing individuals and develop the habit of lumping situations into categories. You want to work with someone who approaching your case with a fresh perspective and is willing to listen actively to what you have to say. Active listening means asking good questions and drawing out all the relevant facts underlying the issue, in addition to the context and circumstances relevant to solving the problem.

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