up button arrow

Immigration Legal Help

Generally, immigration legal help entails obtaining legal assistance to enter the United States, acquire a permanent residency permit, and become a United States citizen. Individuals, firms, and organizations that offer immigration legal help may do so for a fee or pro bono. Where done pro bono, the provider of the legal service does so for free. 

Who Can I Contact For Immigration Issues in Texas?

When confronted with an immigration issue in Texas, the appropriate person, agency, or organization to contact typically depends on the kind of issue and the assistance necessary to handle the situation. For general information on immigration difficulties, processes, and requirements, interested persons can contact government agencies that regulate immigration. These agencies include the United States Department of State, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Customs and Border Protection, and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These agencies usually have federal and Texas-specific phone numbers interested persons can put calls through. However, anyone who needs assistance with immigrating into the United States and understanding immigration requirements, especially those requirements peculiar to Texas, may contact an attorney or organization that offers immigration legal help. There are several such attorneys and organizations across the country, some of which offer pro bono services. Interested persons can find them by exploring the directory compiled by the United States Department of Justice

Note that some of these pro bono organizations offer specific immigration services and may have requirements a person must satisfy before they can be eligible for legal help. Also, considering these organizations help several people, it may be difficult to dedicate adequate resources needed to help each person. For a more effective representation and direct assistance with immigrating into Texas, it may be advisable to engage a practicing immigration attorney. Although immigration attorneys sometimes offer pro bono services, they mostly require a fee.

How to Find an Immigration Attorney in Texas?

Finding a competent immigration attorney in Texas can be challenging, considering there are many attorneys across the state, most of whom offer specialized services that may not be immigration-related. As of 2021, Texas had the fourth-highest number of practicing attorneys in the United States. Nevertheless, a good way to find an attorney is through referrals. This can include asking family members, friends, and colleagues for competent immigration attorneys they know. Alternatively, interested persons can contact professional organizations or associations such as the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, or the American Immigration Lawyers Association, or utilize the referral services of these associations. 

However, before deciding on an attorney, it is advisable to consider different attorney options. This can be done by setting up an appointment with at least three attorneys, meeting them, analyzing how well they respond to their client's needs, and what practical solutions they offer. Note that some lawyers may request a consultation fee. 

In Texas, legal aid is available for immigration cases. However, the extent of legal aid and the kind of immigration cases for which legal aid is available varies and depends on the organization offering the aid. Accordingly, it may be easier to get legal aid for some specific immigration issues than it is for others. Some immigration issues with relatively extensive and easily accessible legal aid include asylum applications, adjustment of status, employment authorization, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). For assistance with contacting an organization that offers legal aid for immigration cases, interested persons can look through the directory compiled by the Texas State Law Library

How Much does an Immigration Lawyer Cost?

The cost of engaging an immigration lawyer typically varies and is determined by several factors. Some of these factors include the nature of the immigration service needed, the area, part, or state of the United States a person intends to immigrate to, and the experience and reputation of the immigration lawyer. Nonetheless, in Texas, it can cost between $100 and $300 per hour to retain an immigration lawyer. For lawyers who prefer to charge a flat fee, their services can cost between $1,000 and $15,000, depending on the case's complexity.

Who Can Help Me With Immigration Papers?

In the United States, there are specific individuals and organizations who are eligible to offer legal assistance with obtaining and submitting immigration papers. These individuals and organizations are partly regulated and accredited by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and are typically referred to as authorized immigration service providers. Service providers include attorneys, other qualified persons referred to as accredited representatives, and recognized organizations. Besides helping with immigration papers, authorized immigration service providers can also offer legal advice and help with other immigration procedures and requirements. 

Generally, prospective immigrants are advised to only receive legal advice or assistance from an authorized immigration service provider, as these service providers are the only ones qualified to offer legal assistance on immigration-related matters. Interested persons can utilize the recognition and accreditation program webpage maintained by the United States Department of Justice to find a list of recognized organizations and accredited representatives in each state across the United States, including Texas. Similarly, interested persons can explore the list of attorneys that offer immigration services and find qualified attorneys they can retain for immigration assistance. These lists include attorneys and organizations offering services for a fee and those offering services pro bono.

How Can Lawyers Help in Immigration?

Lawyers play various necessary roles in the immigration processes across the United States, most of which aim to assist their clients through the immigration process. Some of the ways a lawyer can help in immigration include:

  • Ensuring the immigration-related rights of their clients are not violated;
  • Assisting their clients with gathering, filling, and submitting immigration papers; 
  • Helping their clients explore different immigration opportunities and developing the strategies to maximize these opportunities;
  • Protecting their clients from official or administrative intimidation;
  • Preventing their clients from becoming victims of immigration-related scams;
  • Explaining legal requirements and procedures for immigration to their clients; and
  • Representing their client in court or administrative settings, where necessary.

Essentially, lawyers help put their clients through the processes of immigration and ensure the adequate representation of these clients where necessary. Therefore, while individuals can go through the United States immigration process without a lawyer, it is generally advisable to retain one.