A Temecula, CA Immigration Attorney, John Mansfield, explains:
I’m talking to you today about the USCIS. What’s the USCIS?, you might asked. It is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service. They are a branch of the US Department of Homeland Security and they are responsible for receiving, processing and approving or denying applications for status and relief under the US Immigration and Nationality laws. It’s important that you know that the USCIS has become an extremely efficient branch. I know it’s hard to believe, but they have done wonders with respect to getting more efficient, faster, and friendlier for a huge bureaucracy, I think they deserve a lot credit for the progress they’ve made.
You should know, however, that they are not necessarily there to help you and approve you and send you on your merry way. The important thing you understand is that they have a a job to do and that job does not always run side by side with your interests and what your objectives are in terms of getting, keeping, or regaining immigration status that you’re looking to achieve. And that’s where an Immigration Attorney comes in.
Not just “handy” to have, but very essential.
So, it’s important that you not take any chances and consult an Immigration Specialist. Someone who is familiar with the immigration laws, the cases, the statutes, the regulations, even the procedural protocols. For example, I practice in Southern California – San Diego USCIS officers protocol is somewhat different than those in Los Angeles, and they are different from those in San Bernardino, and so on, and so forth. San Francisco is different from all of them.
It is important to get an attorney who is familiar with the locality and the regional differences and the particular requirements that each jurisdiction has, with respect to the fillings, the documents,the procedures, the time frames, and even the dress codes for that matter! You may not need to dress too formally for a certain appearances in a certain jurisdictions. But in other places I might advice you to wear a suit coat without a tie and make sure your appearances pretty well-groomed, because I am familiar with the differences of these offices and jurisdictions.
It is important also for you to know that if you go to the USCIS for information, they are not always able or in the proper frame of mind to give you the information that’s accurate and what you’re looking for. It’s not that they’re necessarily out to deceive you or harm you, but you may just get someone that doesn’t know the law like an experienced immigration attorney does.
I do not recommend getting advice from anyone but a license attorney. For example, If you go to what’s called an “infopass” appointment with USCIS, and you go without an attorney, you most likely will not get very complete answers, and you’ll walk away having wasted of your time. If an immigration attorney goes for you, then they can guarantee you that you’re going to get useful information, because they know how to extract the information from the agencies.
The forms, also, are more complicated than ever. And if you end up checking the wrong box or submitting the wrong form, or fail to submit a required form”you’re in for a delay, and probably an emotionally draining and financially costly one as well.
An immigration attorney knows how to prepare this paperwork so that you achieve your goals, and I certainly recommend that you consult an Immigration lawyer who specializes and focuses exclusively in this area. I suppose going to your family wills and trusts attorney for immigration help would be like going to your family general practitioner for brain surgery.
It is very important that you take the extra time and care for yourself and your family to see someone who is an expert in immigration law.
Hopefully this is been helpful, and remember: know you rights before you undertake something as important as immigration law.