Thinking about scheduling a consultation? Curious about what to expect? Let’s go through what you can expect before, during and after you have a consultation at Immigration Advocates.
- We schedule consultations over the phone. You can call Monday through Friday, between 9am and 5pm to schedule one. If you get our voicemail, it’s probably because we are talking with one of our clients on another line. Please do leave a message and we’ll get back to you right away.
- When you call to schedule the consultation, we’ll ask you to tell us a little about why you’re interested in having a consultation– are you considering applying for a Green Card, are you wondering what options you might have to legalize, or do you have another type of immigration question? This helps us decide if our consultation will be helpful to you. If you have an asylum case for example, we’ll let you know that our office doesn’t handle those cases, and offer to refer you to a lawyer who does.
- This initial call will be with a legal assistant, who will not answer any legal questions.
- We give you a few different times and days to choose from for your consultation. We usually schedule consultations from Monday through Friday. The first one is usually at 10:00 am and the last one begins at 4:00 pm. A few times a year we make consultations available later at night or on Saturdays.
- We will let you know that the consultation usually lasts one hour, that the fee is $200, and that we only accept cash or check with a photo ID (no credit cards). You can use this $200 fee as a credit toward our fees if you hire our firm within 30 days of the consultation.
- We will provide information on the closest MBTA stop (Central Square on the Red Line is outside our front door) and parking (the closest public parking lots are at 375 Green Street and 9 Pleasant Street).
- We will ask that you either fill out our intake questionnaire online or arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to fill it out on paper.
- If you speak English or Portuguese, there is no need to bring an interpreter (all Immigration Advocates staff speak both languages). If you speak another language and are not comfortable in English, you should bring someone to translate for you.
- Make sure to bring any immigration documents you have with you: your passport, I-94 card, visa, immigration court documents, as well as docket sheets for any criminal cases you have had and any other immigration documents you have. This will help the attorney give you the most accurate advice.
- You might want to write down the questions you have in case you forget them during the consultation, as well as any important dates (like when you entered) of facts you think are important.
- Please make sure to call us if you are running late. If you are more than 15 minutes late we may need to reschedule your appointment.
- Please make sure to call us at least 24 hours in advance if you cannot make your appointment. If you don’t, then you’ll need to prepay the consultation fee before rescheduling your consultation (only one fee will be paid in total).
- When you arrive at our office, we will either print the intake form that you filled out online, or ask to complete one on paper. This helps us spend more time discussing your case and answering your questions, and less time recording contact information and other details.
- Once the intake is completed, your consultation will begin. The attorney will explain the confidentiality rules that help us protect your information and then ask you questions to determine what options you have. It is essential that you tell us the truth and include any details you think might be important. If you don’t, we won’t be able to give you the correct advice (and then what’s the point of the consultation, right?).
- The attorney will explain what options you have and you’ll have plenty of time to ask any question you might have.
- At the end of the consultation, after all your questions have been answered, the attorney will be able to give you information about costs (legal fees, government fees and miscellaneous fees) and how long your case might take. We can send you an exact and written quote for your case within 48 hours of your consultation. The attorney must review the notes from the consultation carefully in order to determine the number of hours of work it will require, and what the appropriate fee is. With a few rare exceptions, we will give you a “flat fee” quote – a single price that covers your case rather than an hourly fee. We provide an option for payment plans that allow you to pay for your case over a matter of months.
- You will receive a receipt for your consultation fee.
We see consultations as an essential first step to any case. It helps us get to know you, find out your priorities and goals, and helps us to learn the details of your situation. It also lets you get to know us, see how we work, and decide whether we are the right fit for you and your case.