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How Much Does an Immigration Lawyer Charge?

September 19, 2021

Starting your immigration journey can be scary. Whether you're applying for visas, dealing with DACA, applying for citizenship or asylum, or trying to fight deportation, the immigration courts and system can be confusing for those not trained or schooled in immigration law. The fear of missing deadlines, turning in the wrong paperwork, or even turning in paperwork that is filled out incorrectly can be hard to overcome. For many people dealing with immigration courts, one small mistake can have adverse effects for years to come.

While the thought of immigration lawyer fees can seem daunting on top of the costs you are already facing in dealing with the immigration system, turning to an attorney can actually save you money in the long run. There is no risk of accidentally paying to file the wrong papers, or accidentally paying the wrong fees.

That is why, even in what seems like a simple immigration case, hiring an experienced Immigration attorney should always be your first step in the process. Jason A. Dennis specializes in immigration law, including and not limited to political asylum, refugee status, citizenship, green card applications and renewals, and deportation. With his level of experience, you can rest easy with the peace of mind, knowing that your attorney is doing anything and everything they can for your case.

Consulting with an Immigration Lawyer 

No matter what your case entails, your first step should always be to contact an immigration lawyer for a consultation. The immigration process can be intricate, there are many complicated rules that must be followed. Contacting an immigration authority or officer before contacting an attorney may see you deported, or your case dragged out for years. 

While Google can be a helpful start, immigration attorneys work daily within the law and the immigration system and can answer any and all questions that you have. There are various requirements for each and every different process encompassed by the Immigration Court System. Your eligibility for a family-based immigration petition for a green card, or refugee status, or even political asylum is paramount to your case, and if you contact an immigration agent before checking with an attorney to make sure you fit all eligibility requirements, you may cause irreparable damage to your case, and in turn, your life. 

At The Law Office of Jason A. Dennis, we offer a free initial consultation. During your consultation with our legal counsel, we will look over all aspects of your case and give you a cost estimate on the associated costs, including fee structures, their regular rate, options regarding a retainer agreement, and the fees for our services. 

Immigration Lawyer Fees

Immigration Court Fees 

Before you even begin to consider attorney fees, you must take a look at the fees you will need to pay to the immigration courts, and to the federal government. The fees differ depending on which part of Immigration law applies to your case, but the most common fees associated with the immigration courts are:

  • Application for Naturalization fees - $725
  • Filing fees for green cards to become a permanent resident - $1760 for applicants living in the United States, $1200 for applicants living outside of the United States
  • Filing fee for stay of deportation - $155

A complete list of fees associated with the Immigration Courts can be found on the EOIR website

While these fees can quickly add up, its important to remember that experienced immigration attorneys work within this system daily, and are able to quickly apply for any fee waivers you may qualify for, which could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run. 

Immigration Attorney Fees 

During your consultation, the attorney you speak with will talk to you about fees and their rates during your meeting. While every law firm is different, a majority of immigration attorneys charge an hourly rate, or half-hour rate, for the time that they work on your case, including time in their office spent putting your case together, time spent filling out and filing your paperwork, time spent meeting with you to discuss your case, and time spent in court fighting for you. Legal issues and red tape are daily battles for lawyers, and they can handle them quickly. 

These rates normally range between an hourly rate of $150 to $300, or $75 to $150 per half hour. The average person pays their immigration attorney anywhere from $370 total, to upwards of $12,000. This wide range of numbers includes the costs of fees associated with your case. There is a lot of variance between these numbers, mainly because every immigration case varies in severity and time. If you are a green card holder applying for citizenship and you meet all requirements, your attorney costs and all associated fees are understandably going to be lower than a person seeking a stay of deportation. 

For very simple cases, such as filing paperwork for naturalization (US citizenship) for green card holders, some lawyers even offer flat rates. This could be anywhere from $370 up and may cover all additional charges and fees needed to file and process your paperwork. 

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Is an Immigration Attorney Worth it? 

This depends on how seriously you take your case, and how much time and money you have to waste. Immigration attorneys work within the immigration court system and with immigration laws on a daily basis, they know the ins and outs of the system in a way that a person dealing with the system simply can not.

Hiring an attorney prevents a series of different issues you may run into while dealing with the immigration court system, including accidentally filing for the wrong type of visa, delays that can extend your case out weeks or months past when it should end, filing incorrect paperwork or paying incorrect fees. Immigration attorneys can also apply for waivers on your behalf, saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars you may have otherwise had to pay to the court system. 

Around 17.8% of immigration applications are denied each year. These reasons range from potential security risks, incorrect filing procedures, and missing deadlines for filing papers or paying fees. The success rate of first-time filers for immigration is much higher if you have hired an attorney. If your claim is denied, you don't recoup any of the money you've already spent, which is why it's so important to get it right the first time.

Even if your claim is denied, it's not too late to hire an immigration attorney. With an attorney on your side from the start you prevent a large percentage of the risk of being denied, and if you are denied your attorney is immediately able to file appeals on your behalf. These immigration appeals do cost even more money, however, which is why it's better to seek legal services before you ever spend a dime. 

In the most serious of cases, including potential deportation or those seeking political asylum or refugee status, having an experienced attorney fight for you is a must. These cases are extremely intricate and delicate, and with your entire life on the line, there is no need to risk being denied by the immigration court system. Hiring deportation defense is paramount if you wish to remain in the United States, even if you feel as though the courts have made a mistake and your case will be thrown out immediately. 

Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case

Dealing with the immigration court system in the United States can make you feel like a mouse standing up to a lion. With long waits, steep fees, and no guarantee that your hard work will pay off, immigration court can be one of the most daunting experiences of your entire life. You need to work with the right immigration lawyer in NYC.

When you consider the fact that the denial rate of Immigration applications of all types, save for DACA and either asylum or refuge seekers, have increased over 37% since 2016, getting it right on your first try, by yourself, is not likely. And while you might save a small amount of money choosing to file on your own, all that money and time is wasted when your application is denied. Most immigration attorneys have 90-99% success rates, making the immigration lawyer cost worth it in the end. 

If you are looking for information or legal immigration services regarding:

  • Deportation Defense 
  • Filing Immigration paperwork 
  • A green card application, including family-based green cards 
  • Student visa application 
  • Employer-sponsored labor certification for work visas 
  • Filing a naturalization application
  • Appealing visa denials 

Or any other immigration matters in New Jersey or the DC Metro area, contact The Law Office of Jason A. Dennis. 

Placing your case in the hands of immigration specialist Jason A. Dennis will give you peace of mind, knowing that your case and your future are in the hands of one of Lawyer's Magazine's Top 100 Lawyers in New Jersey and the DC Metro area. Every case is personal to Jason A. Dennis, and he will do everything he can to bring your case to a quick and happy close. You can schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help by calling 516-494-7373.

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