When you choose to work with an immigration attorney, it’s an exciting moment. At this point, you now have someone who is truly able to help you on your pathway to residency in the United States. The road ahead will be filled with challenges, but with the right legal guidance, you’re already on the path to a more favorable outcome.

As you prepare to meet with your new immigration lawyer, there are a few things you can do to make sure the meeting goes smoothly and is the best use of time. Read more below about how to prepare to meet your immigration attorney.

Collect The Proper Documentation – If you have any paperwork in regards to your immigration case, you’ll want to bring that along with you to your appointment. This can include any notices, USCIS documents, a notice to appear in immigration court, your passport, etc. If you don’t have any of this, or very little, don’t worry! We can either request records, or we can go based on what you remember. When you first arrive to your first appointment, the immigration law firm may have you to fill out some pre-appointment information. Make sure that is completed before you attend your meeting, and consider emailing it to them before you even get there.

Recall and Write Down the Details of Your Entry Into the U.S. – You can hand write this, but sit down and try to recall as much information about your entry into the states as clearly as possible. Details about the date you arrived, the time, where you came into the U.S. who you worked with once you arrived, etc. These details will be valuable to your immigration law firm. If you are claiming asylum, you will want to write down the reasons why you have left your home country. USCIS will want a detailed account of why you can no longer live in your country of origin, and your asylum lawyer will need this information to help you build your case.

If Applicable, Bring Your Criminal Documents – If you have been arrested or had some other interaction with law enforcement, you should bring that information with you. This is also true if your case was dismissed or expunged. We will need to know all these details if you are planning to claim asylum or are looking to get a green card. Don’t keep this information from your immigration attorney. If you are found lying about any criminal history, it may cause authorities to place you removal proceedings, and your attorney might not be able to give you complete advice to help you.

Arrange for Time Off Work and Childcare – You need to have all your focus on your case during your initial meeting with your immigration, asylum orgreen card lawyer. This is especially true if you’re working with a deportation attorney as these cases are far more complicated. Be prepared to show up early to your appointment. If you’re late or don’t have everything you need for your appointment, this will only delay the attorney from working on your case, making your situation even more challenging.

Prepare a List of Questions to Ask – This meeting is your chance to ask all the questions you have about your case. If you rely on memory, you might forget something. Do your due diligence and prepare your questions in advance. If you ask questions later, this might cost you more money in the long run. Preparation is key to a great initial meeting.

Landerholm Immigration looks forward to working with you on your immigration case. We invite you to look at all of our resources online to help you prepare for your meetings with us, or for information about immigrating to the U.S.