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5 Tips to Make the Most of your Immigration Consultation

December 02, 2019
Zeena Barazanji

At Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, our attorneys conduct consultations everyday with individuals, families, and businesses. We understand the importance of your immigration case and we want you to get the most out of your consultation. Here are 5 easy things you can do to help make sure that happens.

  1. 1. Be on time!

To ensure that you get the most time with your attorney, please be on time for your appointment.  If you are late, we cannot guarantee the attorney will be able to fully complete your consultation, and you may have to schedule another time for a follow up call or visit. We recommend arriving a few minutes early to allow time to find parking, locate our office, and to complete our consultation intake form.

2. Bring ALL of your paperwork with you!

In order to provide you with accurate advice, an attorney needs to review all of your relevant documents. The attorney must see all of the following relevant documents in person during the consultation, since various dates listed on each document could be a crucial aspect of your case. Please plan to bring the following documents with you to your consultation:

        • -Current passport and all prior passports
        • -All immigration documents (e.g. copies of any documents or petitions previously filed, notices from the government, court records, approvals, denials, receipts, previous employment cards, border crossing cards, visas, old passports, FOIA responses, and more)
        • -Resume (if you are coming to discuss possible employment-based immigration options)
        • -Marriage certificate (if applicable)
        • -Birth certificate for yourself, your spouse and your children (if any)
        • -Divorce certificate (if applicable)
        • -Any and all criminal records (in the U.S. and abroad)
        • -Any other relevant documents to your case
  1. 3. Specify any language preferences when you make the appointment

If you prefer your consultation be conducted in a specific language, please let us know at the time of scheduling so we can accommodate. We currently have the following language capabilities in our office: Spanish, Polish, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, and Gujurati. If we are unable to accommodate your specific language, you are welcome to bring someone with you who can translate.

  1. 4. Prepare, prepare, prepare:

The more prepared you are for your consultation, the better it will be. We recommend the following:

      • a. Write down a list of your questions and concerns before your appointment and express them openly to the attorney during the appointment. We welcome any and all questions.
      • b. Don’t expect to like everything you hear. Unfortunately, sometimes an attorney will give you answers or information that is not what you hoped to hear. The law does not provide immigration options for everyone, and it is our duty to let you know if you don’t have any options. Managing your expectations ahead of time may make that easier.
      • c. You are welcome to have someone accompany you at the consultation, but please introduce them to the attorney and identify your relationship at the start of the meeting. Please be aware that whoever accompanies you may hear confidential and sensitive information. In some cases, having a third party present at the consultation will break the attorney-client privilege, meaning that the information disclosed during the consultation can sometimes be discovered in a trial. If they have questions about a separate, unrelated case, they will need to schedule their own consultation.

 5. Honesty is KEY

Finally, and most importantly, be honest. It is the single most important thing you can do for yourself in your immigration consultation. Remember that the U.S. Government may already have a record of your history. If you are dishonest with your attorney, you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage because the attorney will not be able to properly represent or defend you against the things he or she does not know. Furthermore, the attorney cannot give you an accurate legal opinion without knowing all of the details of your case. Remember that everything you say to an attorney in a consultation is confidential, even if you don’t hire the attorney to take your case. We are here to help you, but we can only help you if we know the truth.

To schedule a consultation with any of our immigration attorneys, please contact Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan at 312-427-6163.

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