How much does a consultation with an immigration lawyer cost?
Immigration lawyer does not charge a lot of money for a consultation usually. On average, the first consultation of an immigration lawyer costs one hundred to three hundred dollars an hour. Some immigration lawyers give free consultations.
Immigration lawyer understands that many clients have recently come to the United States, they do not have a lot of money or a well-paid job. Immigration lawyer may offer a payment plan for his services and in some circumstances take the case pro bono (free of charge).
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Many immigration lawyers charge $300 or $500 an hour for a consultation. However, this does not mean that the more money a lawyer charges, the better skills and experience he or she has. Often times clients receive just as much, if not more, useful information at a consultation for $200 as at a consultation for $500.
Approximate costs of hiring an immigration lawyer in San Francisco
Below we are providing a table of attorney’s fees in our law office. The filing fees are accurate as of June 1, 2022:
The type of case
Consultation with attorney
up to an hour in office or by Skype
|Removal defense in court||$8,000–$12,000|
|Adjustment of status||I-485||$2,000–$3,000||$1,225-$1,760|
|Visa L-1 (RFE response included)||I-129||$7,000||$460|
|Visa O-1 (RFE response included)||I-129||$7,000||$460|
|Immigrant visa petition||I-130||$1,000–$3,000||$535|
|Extension/change of status||I-539||$2,000||$455|
How much will your case cost?
Different immigration lawyers charge different amounts of money for the same case. How can one figure out how much his case really costs? To answer this question, lets take a look at the immigration lawyer’s considerations when he or she evaluates the case of a prospective client. The immigration lawyer’s workload in his other cases, the complexity and deadlines of your case, and the average cost of similar cases in the city or state matter most when the lawyer evaluates your case.
Immigration cases, as a rule, remain pending for years. Consequently, clients have enough time to collect the money to pay the lawyer’s fees, collect supporting documents, prepare for the hearing well. If the client is out of custody and waives expedited adjudication of his case, the immigration lawyer may charge less in attorney’s fees. When there are pressing deadlines and the individual hearing is coming up, immigration lawyer will likely charge more or will even decline to take the case.
When the immigration lawyer is not that busy, he may agree for a lower retainer to keep the client from leaving for a different immigration office. A lot depends of client’s sophistication. If the client worked with an attorney in the past, has college education, knows how to translate documents, picks up the phone, it is easier to work with such a client and immigration lawyer may charge less for his services.
Immigration lawyer helps a great number of clients, deals with similar issues on the daily basis and, consequently, has a good idea of the market price for an immigration case. Moreover, a new client rarely finds the lawyer in yellow pages. The majority of new clients are friends and family of the ones whom the immigration lawyer helped in the past. Therefore, the lawyer’s fees will be more or less the same for different people.
Forms of payment
As a rule, immigration lawyers charge a fixed retainer. The upside of a fixed retainer is that the client does not have to worry about how many hearings will be scheduled in his case, or how much time the immigration lawyer will spend on preparation. Hourly fees are customary where a lawyer does not know how much time will be spent on the client’s case. When a lawyer charges by the hour, the client must carefully watch the bills and pay attention to what he is being billed for.
Lawyers in the state of California must sign a contract with the client and give client a copy. Remember that you can haggle with the lawyer before you sign a contract. Attorney’s fees are not set by law. Call several immigration lawyers and ask how much they charge. Not every immigration lawyer will tell you right away how much he charges and will suggest that you meet and pay for the initial consultation. Carefully read the contract and do not sign it until you fully understand its content. Ask the immigration lawyer to translate the contract into the language you understand best, explain the unfamiliar terms.