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When and How to Hire an Immigration Attorney Jenny Bowen Foreign Student Adviser, OIS Andrew Straw IU Law School.

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Presentation on theme: "When and How to Hire an Immigration Attorney Jenny Bowen Foreign Student Adviser, OIS Andrew Straw IU Law School."— Presentation transcript:

1 When and How to Hire an Immigration Attorney Jenny Bowen Foreign Student Adviser, OIS Andrew Straw IU Law School

2 Timeline CPT Graduation OPT H1-B Permanent Residency? (Marriage? L-1? Lottery?) Citizenship?

3 What are the various steps involved in obtaining an H1-B visa?

4 Apply for jobs Submit your resume Receive a job offer Hire an immigration lawyer Prevailing Wage Obtained Labor Condition Application (LCA) in Form ETA-9035 filed with U.S. Department of Labor Start Working U.S. INS forwards approval notice to U.S. Consulate Office in your home country. Visa interview. Visa issued. H-1B Visa Process Flow H-1B Petition in Form I-129 is filed with U.S. INS If you are in the U.S. If you are not in the U.S.

5 Permanent Residency Requires attorney Takes 2-5 years Many other factors Watch for Visa Options After Graduation Session!

6 When is the best time to hire an attorney? A. Now? B. During OPT? C. At the beginning of H1-B? D. Never – the corporation will have one on staff.

7 When is the best time to hire an attorney? A. Now? B. During OPT? C. At the beginning of H1-B? D. Never – the corporation will have one on staff.

8 Why do I need an attorney? Illustrates good preparation for H1-B Will either streamline the process, or provide a resource that corporation doesn’t have Takes care of your interests Establishes a relationship prior to PR application or layoff

9 Where can I find an attorney? The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national bar association of attorneys who practice immigration law.

10 Selecting an Immigration Attorney Don’t wait until your deadline Consult others Evaluate your attorney by: ● Asking questions in initial call ● Asking questions in first meeting

11 Questions to ask in initial call Do you handle these types of cases? How long have you been doing this type of work? How many cases similar to mine have you handled? What percentage of your practice is devoted to immigration law? Do you charge an initial consultation fee? How do you set your fees for these types of cases?

12 Questions to ask in first meeting with the attorney What are the INS procedures for handling my case? How long might it take to resolve my case? What’s this Express Processing Fee? What are my prospects for success? What is the fee that you will charge for my case?

13 What you, as the client, need to consider Does the lawyer demonstrate an understanding of immigration law procedure? Does the lawyer communicate ideas to you in a clear and effective manner? Does he or she seem to care about your problem? Are you confident that this person has the ability to handle your case competently and honestly? Do you understand the fee arrangement, and can you afford it?

14 How much will this cost? Variables: Geographic Region Current immigration status Employer level of comfort Employer responsiveness Family Timing

15 Approximately……… Standard: $1,000-1,500 Express Processing: Add $1,000 Complicating Factors: $3,000 - $5,000

16 Final Cautions You are the client You can’t rush INS, unless you pay for it H-1 B’s are not as automatic as OPT

17 Think Positively! The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected in 1999 that the gap between the number of jobs available and the number of people to fill them would grow to 6 million in “As we are creating an ever more complex, accelerating economy, the necessity to bring in resources and people from abroad to keep it functioning in the most effective manner strikes me as relevant policy.” ---- Alan Greenspan, February, 2000


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