Often, when immigrants are ready to file adjustment of status to green card, they are confronted with loads of forms and required documents that may overwhelm them. If English is a problem, forget about trying to do it yourself. However, if your case is straight forward, meaning that both the US citizen petitioner and the beneficiary immigrant have not violated any laws or visa status, chances are you can file the adjustment of status yourself and save a few thousand dollars.
When you hire a lawyer, the lawyer will hand-hold and guide you, filling out every question and procuring every required form for you. You just need to give the lawyer the required civil documents or explain how you don’t have it, and the lawyer will do everything for you. The lawyer will also accompany you to the USCIS interview and speak on your behalf if needed with the USCIS immigration officer. While the service sounds impeccable and convenient, it does not come cheap. The fees range from at least $2000 to $5000 or $7000. These are fees on top of the required filing fees paid to USCIS, which can be about $2000 depending on which kind of adjustment of status application you are filing. Now you must ask yourself, do I really need a lawyer for this?
If you are filing for a green card through marriage to a US citizen, and both parties involved have not violated any visa or criminal laws, and all documents required are on-hand (meaning no need to explain any missing required documents), and especially that the marriage follows a traditional pattern, (by this meaning the couple met physically, dated for years, and decided to get married), you really don’t need to get a lawyer. Check out this comprehensive guide on filing adjustment of status for a green card through marriage. If you can follow the guide step by step and produce all necessary documents, you will have near 100% success in your green card application.
If you are filing for your parent’s green cards, and again your situation is straight forward (original biological parents with no name differences or changes, parents have been in the USA for over 90 days as a B1 visitor, have all valid documentations such as birth certificates), you don’t need to hire a lawyer. Just follow this guide to filing green card for your parents.
In conclusion, depending on your exact circumstance and situation regarding your adjustment of status application, you should first attempt to research and understand what is required to file and how your situation varies from the most bonafide traditional situations. If you have the most traditional, straight forward immigration situation, then don’t worry about hiring a lawyer, just do it yourself!
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