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For every person whose dream of American citizenship or lawful permanent residency in the United States come true, there are many, many more who are forced to give up on that same dream. That’s because coming to the United States in pursuit of those dreams isn’t easy. Making a simple mistake on an immigration form is understandable, especially if you don’t understand English — but as far as the government is concerned, submitting incorrect information is a perfectly good reason to deny your petition or application for citizenship, a Green Card, and even asylum.

As an immigrant, the best way to achieve your goals is to find a qualified immigration attorney who understands your situation and will fight for your rights. Here’s how to find a licensed immigration lawyer to represent you.

First, don’t trust anyone who approaches you claiming to be an attorney while you are at a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or any other government office. While he or she is probably has a valid license, he or she is engaging in unethical activity by approaching you. Furthermore,  it is highly likely that he or she is motivated by greed, and highly unlikely that he or she  has the skills, experience, and desire to provide the advocacy you need to be successful.

On a similar note, you should also avoid dealing with anyone other than a lawyer who offers to help you fill out immigration forms or represent you in any way. These people may claim to be “consultants,” “petition preparers,” or even “notarios.” But the truth is, only licensed, experienced immigration lawyers can provide the services you need.

So how can you tell the difference between a good immigration attorney and a bad one? Or a qualified immigration attorney and an inexperienced one? The key is doing a lot of research. Talk to friends. Talk to relatives. Talk to anyone else you know who hired an immigration lawyer when they came to the United States. Once you have a few recommendations, you can find even more information about the lawyer(s) on the Internet.

Specifically, you can verify that he or she is a member of the state bar association (which is mandatory), and whether he or she is a member in good standing of relevant groups such as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Of course you can also visit the website for his or her firm to learn about his or her education, professional accomplishments and so forth. However, you should try to verify any claims about satisfied clients and successful cases by looking at the comments on independent sites, such as Martindale-Hubbell.

Do not forget to use your common sense, and remember the old saying, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Ignore any lawyer who promises that your case will definitely be resolved to your satisfaction; this is a complicated area of U.S. law, and there are never any guarantees.

Clearly, you should also avoid any immigration attorney who tries to convince you to do something illegal, such as lying on an immigration form or buying or using forged documents. This is never okay. In fact, if you are caught, you may be kicked out of the country and have a permanent blemish on your record.

Finally, most immigration lawyers offer free initial consultations, or charge a relatively low fee for this first meeting, where they will learn about you and the circumstances of your case. To do this, they will probably ask you to fill out some forms and ask you some questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well. For example, you can ask how long they have been practicing in this area of law, about their education and about their passion for helping immigrants such as yourself. Engaging in this type of dialogue will allow you to see how well you and the attorney get along. Since this is someone who you are trusting with your future, it is important that you have a good relationship from the beginning. If you have a good relationship with the first lawyer you meet with, great. If not, don’t worry. Just schedule a consultation with another one.

In any case, you should not hesitate to hire a qualified immigration lawyer if:

  • You are facing deportation (removal from the U.S.) or you have been deported before
  • You are applying for an immigration benefit and you have a criminal record
  • You are unable to complete immigration forms on your own
  • A prior application or petition has been denied
  • You have questions or concerns about petitions or applications for benefits based on employment or marriage

At Zontlaw, our team of dedicated and knowledgeable immigration attorneys is here to help you. We offer a variety of services ranging from traditional legal representation to telephone consultations and assistance with completing various immigration forms, all of which are available at competitive rates. To learn more, contact us today.

Why choose us?

Immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship often face overwhelming, but not insurmountable challenges. In order to overcome them, it is essential to secure dedicated legal assistance from an experienced immigration attorney who is capable of taking on even the toughest cases. That is exactly what we aim to deliver to each and every client. But it is not all. We are also dedicated to providing the individualizedand personal attention that each client deserves–and all at affordable rates.

What are the Zontlaw Attorney Services?

We are a full-service immigration law firm located in New York City that proudly serves clients in all 50 States. Zontlaw Legal Services offers clients, fixed-fee legal services provided by licensed Attorneys. We utilize our own cutting-edge proprietary, easy to use and secure, online case management system to provide convenient, low cost, and effective legal services to our clients. Depending on your individual circumstances and the complexity of your case, which our easy and short online quizes will determine for you, we will direct you to the best options available for your individualized representation.

Principally, we have three pathways that our clients and attorneys will pursue depending on the complexity of each individual case, the client’s budget, and the amount of time the client wishes to put into their own immigration case.

1. Full Attorney Representation:  We provide traditional start-to-finish immigration legal services, with direct Attorney-to -client communication every step of the way, for all kinds of immigration petitions and benefits. This option is always available, and we will be very happy to represent you to the fullest extent; fairly, effectively, and zealously. This option is typically appropriate for more complex cases, as well as for our busier clients who wish to be less involved with their petitions. Because it is more work for our attorneys, this option will be more expensive. However, Full Attorney Representation might be the best and only option if your case is very complex. Don’t worry about making that decision however, because we will always let you know if we believe that Full Attorney Representation is necessary to effectively represent your interests.

2. Attorney Application Review Service:  This option is more cost-effective for the client than Full Attorney Representation and it enables the client to do their own Immigration petitions and applications. You will use our easy to use, online platform to fill out your petition and the supporting documentation; all along while having the peace of mind that everything you input will be carefully checked by one of our licensed attorneys for accuracy and completeness.  Our attorneys will tell you if changes need to be made, and provide feedback on where and what to change. In this way, you can do much of the work yourself, save some money, and have the reassurance that you have done your petition correctly. This option will typically be available when your case is relatively straightforward, and we will always let you know if we believe that you’re a good candidate for this service.

About our revolutionary and easy to use Immigration Software Platform:

The software platform enables clients and attorneys the ability to complete any client-eligible USCIS immigration          petition and the required supporting documentation, with ease and certainty. It takes the confusing and difficult to          understand USCIS petitions and distills them down into easy to use forms, with step by step instructions, simple                questions for the user to input, and realtime feedback as you go. As you fill in information, the system only gets                smarter and starts working for you. You’ll quickly notice that your name and biographical data that you previously          entered, will be automatically filled in where required on other parts of the form. In the end, you’ll have a real USCIS        immigration petition, on their official form, without ever having to fill out a  confusing USCIS petition. You’ll also                breathe easy as every single thing you input will be checked by the software system itself; and at the end, manually          by a licensed attorney for completeness and accuracy. 

3. Phone Consultations Service: Schedule a phone consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. This service is a standalone fee of $150 dollars and we will set aside brief but ample time just for you, to fully discuss your immigration situation and to help you move forward with confidence. If you decide to pursue either our Full Attorney Representation option or our Application Review service after your consultation, we will apply your $150 dollar phone consultation fee towards the price of either service. It is our aim to please, make our clients comfortable, and always find them the best option. Schedule your consultation today.

Are Zontlaw Attorney Services prices competitive?

Zontlaw is committed to providing you the best immigration representation at affordable prices. We as a firm utilize our own unique proprietary software to manage our client’s cases. What this really means for our clients is that we are able to handle cases for less than many other firms, because we have put in the time in to automate much of our work. This means that not only can we provide savings to our clients, but we can spend more of our attorney’s precious hours on double checking to make sure your petition is done properly.

How is Zontlaw different from other providers?

What separates us from our competitors is our philosophy that not only is every case unique, but so is every client. This is reflected in our willingness to go the extra mile for our clients. In addition to assessing your legal needs, we will also assess your individual and personal needs. We want to reduce your stress as much as we can and make our clients as comfortable as possible with the status of their immigration matters. Our philosophy is reflected at every stage of our representation. From the inital consultation and throughout our thorough analysis and preparation of your case file and supporting documentation, until we need to fight for you in the courtroom; should it come to that. We are willing to go there with you, support you, and communicate at all times about your status and our strategies for your personalized representation. One sould never be left in the dark to worry about the status of their legal matter, or left with unanswered questions by their attorney. We aim to please and that’s exactly what we do.

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