Elizabeth NJ Immigration Attorney

Do I need an Immigration Lawyer?

When dealing with any immigration issues, it can be difficult what route might be best. Immigration lawyers are trained and prepared to help clients understand their case. It is always best to hire a lawyer because Attorneys are very involved with cases in the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review. Marriage petitions, fiance visas, family green card and spouse immigration, are some of the cases we can assist with efficiently.

Who should I hire?

Diaspora Law is an immigration firm focused on serving families and businesses navigate immigration law to obtain the best option available. You should hire our firm considering that we have been peer reviewed and client reviewed as an outstanding firm both in quality and experience. Our systems will even allow you to navigate the complex immigration system from the comfort of your own home. Complete some of our questionnaires, to get you started.

How much is a consultation?

Hiring an attorney for immigration matters is an important, step in the right path. Our office charges a flat fee of $100 per consultation. During the consultation, potential clients are provided with a pathway and an explanation of their legal issues. If retained, our attorneys will issue an engagement letter and a clear payment plan for the immigration issue at hand.

Elizabeth, NJ Immigration Lawyers

Elizabeth, NJ is home to the Elizabeth Immigration Court and Detention Center. Elizabeth Area immigration attorneys serve the region in all types of immigration cases. In order to find a reputable immigration attorney it is key to see attorney reviews, firm reviews, and schedule consultations to meet the attorneys and staff. Some of the best sources to decide on who to hire for an immigration matter include AVVO.com as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association at AILA.org

Spanish Immigration Attorney

If English is not your first language, it is also important to hire a firm with staff that speaks your language. Portuguese, and Spanish Speaking attorney at diaspora law may be able to help you navigate your case efficiently without charging extra fees. Do not let important items to be lost in translation. Call diaspora law today.

Schedule a Consultation

Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment today.

Elizabeth Immigration Lawyer: 908-248-2227

Via E-Mail: info@diasporalaw.com

Or Schedule Online:

How To Find A Good Immigration Lawyer

Finding an immigration lawyer can be a daunting task. Finding a good immigration lawyer can be even more daunting. The better way to think about it however,  is how can I find the right immigration lawyer?

For most people, finding a lawyer happens at the last moment when you suddenly need one. Often when this occurs there are usually two major concerns — is this person actually going to be able to help me? and how much is this going to cost? Needless to say rushing through the process of finding competent representation coupled with concerns about money are never a good mix. Not only can mistakes be made, but you might even incur thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal costs and still have a negative outcome in your case.

Overall, the most important thing to understand when starting your search for the right immigration lawyer is that immigration law can be very complex and the information available out there can be inaccurate. Immigration mistakes or errors can end up costing your family money or even worst federal imprisonment or deportation. Having or finding the right immigration lawyer might very well be the most important investment you will ever make to ensure your family’s future in the United States. As is often said, sometimes it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

To make this process easier, we’re going walk you through how to find the right immigration lawyer.

How To Find The Right Immigration Lawyer before an emergency arises

Being proactive in your search for the right immigration lawyer is always the better option. Taking the appropriate steps and doing due-diligence and research can greatly provide a sense of relief and confidence if a legal issue should arise in the future. By taking the time to research an immigration lawyer ahead of time gives you the ability to focus on what’s most important, your case. But where do you begin?

Before you begin your search for an immigration lawyer, here are Four Steps to take before your first meeting with an Immigration Lawyer. There you will find a checklist that will help you enter your first consultation prepared and help guide you when searching for the right immigration lawyer.


Finding The Right Immigration Attorney Time to Find a Lawyer!

Now that you’ve gone over the checklist to prepare for your search, let’s talk about the actual search for the right immigration lawyer for you and your family. There are many ways to find a good immigration lawyer. The first that might come to mind might be checking online but often great lawyers can be found through personal references. Ask family and friends. Contact university or other school alumni associations. You can even call your local immigration advocacy organizations in your community and check to see if they have a list of immigration lawyers that they would recommend. You can also check with your local library or community social clubs that target specific immigrant communities. And be sure to also give consideration to community reputation. Has the lawyer established a good name for himself or herself in the community? If your lawyer has a sterling community reputation, chances are it was earned through hard work. Although there is no one way to search for an immigration lawyer, personal or community references can be very helpful in distinguishing a good lawyer from a bad one. A strong reference from a friend or colleague is often the best indicator of whether a lawyer is good or not.

As you begin to make phone calls or appointments for first-time consultations with an immigration lawyer, there are several important things to consider. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to keep in mind as you find the right immigration lawyer for you and your family. Please keep in mind that a good lawyer or the right lawyer for you will always be open to answering your questions and provide the following information. If a lawyer is hesitant to answer your questions or gives misleading information, it might be worth considering finding another lawyer. The difference between a bad lawyer and a great lawyer is the ability for that lawyer to clearly communicate every step of the process regarding your case, all fees that might be included and be willing to answer any question you might have. Don’t be shy and ask if you are unclear or unsure about any step in the process!

Another important question that sits at the heart of most important things to consider when searching for the right immigration lawyer is cost. We’ve got a great outline to help navigate the cost of legal fees and more here: How Do Legal Fees Work?

Outside of cost however, what are some other things you should consider during your search? Here are more helpful tips:

What is the Lawyer’s Focus of practice?

Within immigration law, there are a variety of subspecialties – employment, family, asylum, deportation, etc. Consider going with a lawyer with a strong background in your particular type of case. Please also be aware that many lawyers list immigration law as one of a variety of types of matters they handle. It is tough enough for a full-time immigration lawyer to keep abreast of all of the developments in the practice area. It is nearly impossible to be a top-notch immigration lawyer while trying to balance being an expert in many other practice areas as well. So be mindful and be sure to find out if the lawyer is an immigration exclusive lawyer or not. While someone can be a good immigration lawyer and also be very competent in another practice area, watch out for lawyers where immigration is one practice area on a laundry list of claimed specialties. Make sure that the lawyer that you choose is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is probably the immigration lawyer’s best resource for up-to-date information. While being an AILA member is not a sure sign of quality, it may indicate that the lawyer is keeping up with this rapidly changing field of law.

How Many Years of Practice Do They Have? How Qualified Are They?

The amount of years a lawyer has been in practice seems like an obvious consideration when choosing a lawyer. But choosing a lawyer with multiple years of experience isn’t always the best choice. In truth, it depends on what your needs are and the experience of the lawyer. Much of immigration law is unwritten and the longer one is in practice, the better one’s instincts become. But the opposite can be true as well. Lawyers who have been practicing for years may become lazy about staying up to date on the latest changes. Some of the worst lawyers practicing immigration law in this country are the ones who have been around the longest. So try and strike a balance.

Another thing to consider is their Board Certification. A few states certify lawyers in the practice of immigration law. If your lawyer practices in a state that does, make sure he or she has this credential. It is no guarantee of quality, but it can certainly be an indicator. Also, give some consideration to the the lawyer’s educational background. While many fine lawyers have come out of mediocre law schools and lousy lawyers come out of the best law schools, where a lawyer went to school can still be an indicator of a person’s ability to achieve. With numerous sources of information now available in the internet, you can often find out not only where a lawyer went to school but awards they may have won, publications they have in well-known Law Journals or even extra-curricular activities they engaged in during Law School that might benefit your case or your community.

Who is Doing the Work? A Lawyer or a Paralegal?

One of the ways immigration practices are attempting to keep costs down is to hire paralegals and legal assistants to do much of the work that immigration lawyers used to do on their own. In some markets, this may be the only way to keep costs low enough for people to afford to hire a lawyer. But you should know what you are paying for. Some of the most expensive immigration firms still with extremely high ratios of paralegals – sometimes as high as ten paralegals per lawyer. A more modest ratio of one to two paralegals per lawyer may mean that the firm is not too overloaded with work and it may mean that the lawyer you thought you were hiring actually knows what is happening on your case and has the time to speak with you about your case.

Local vs. National: Should I always use a Local Lawyer?

Unlike most fields of law, the location of your immigration lawyer is not nearly as important as you might think. Immigration law is strictly federal in nature. This means that it is basically the same across the country and a lawyer in one state practices under the same system as in every other state. Immigration law is almost entirely administrative as well. That means that most petitions are submitted by mail and personal appearances by an immigration lawyer are becoming less and less common. It is recommended that you get a local immigration lawyer if your case involves appearances before local immigration judges or the local U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) district office. In these cases, local lawyers know the personalities and procedures of the local immigration office better than someone across the country. If your case involves filings at a regional service center or dealings with consulates, then it doesn’t matter where your lawyer’s office is.

We hope that this outline helps you to find the right immigration lawyer for you and your family. No matter who you choose to represent your case, what’s most important is that you find a lawyer who really seems to care about your case. These are the lawyers that will go above and beyond to represent you and help you with your legal needs. Taking the time to research an immigration lawyer and finding the right one for your legal situation is the best investment you can provide to yourself and your family. When it comes to US immigration there are no shortcuts. The process is long, hard and takes time. But with the right immigration lawyer to guide you, US immigration can be a much less daunting affair.

If you require legal representation or are looking to begin your immigration journey, please contact our offices at Diaspora Law. We’ve got great references from our local community too! To check out our community partner organizations, click here.

How Do Legal Fees Work?

Lawyer’s fees can vary greatly, and although it is tempting always to find the cheapest lawyer possible, cost should never be the only consideration given to choosing a lawyer. If you have trouble affording a good lawyer or you are part of a low-income community, there are programs out there to help. Understanding how legal fees work and how lawyer’s structure their pay can help you to make a better decision in choosing the right lawyer for your situation. Although lawyers’ fees vary greatly, there are two primary methods of pricing: an hourly rate or a flat fee. Occasionally, the lawyer may propose a mixed pricing structure. When you meet a potential lawyer for the first time consultation or when making initial phone calls to potential lawyers, it is very important that you understand how you will be charged for work done on your case.

Difference Between Hourly Fees and Flat Fees?

Many lawyers charge by the hour or have hourly fees based on the time they and their staff spend working on your case. If your case is simple and does not require much time, this option might be for you. However, if your case is labor intensive, the hourly fees will add up quickly. You will pay not just for the time the lawyer spends working on the case, but also for the time each paralegal and legal assistant works the case as well. This also includes the time when they are discussing your case amongst themselves and all the time you spend on the phone with them. Some lawyers charge a different rate for their time as opposed to the time of their support staff. Very often however, lawyers will use a Flat Fee for “routine” cases such as an H-1B or Labor Certification application. In this pricing model, you and the lawyer agree on the price ahead of time, regardless of how long the case may take to work. In this model, it is to the advantage of the lawyer to work your case as efficiently as possible. If unexpected complications arise that change the nature of your case, be aware that it may be necessary to re-negotiate the contract.

Can Hourly Fees and Flat Fees be combined?

Yes! With some complicated cases, a lawyer may not be able to assess a flat fee up front as it may not be certain how much work is involved in the case. The lawyer may suggest that the case is handled on an hourly basis. Since some cases can result in a significant number of billable hours, you may wish to explore the possibility of converting the case to a flat fee after the legal fees have reached a certain figure. This would serve to limit the expense from your end and deter the firm from running up your fees. However, if your case involves a considerable amount of court time and preparation, this may not be an option.

Other Costs to Keep in Mind!

In addition to the legal fees, it is important to understand what other costs you may be expected to pay. Ask about these costs up front as they may add significantly to the cost of your case. Be sure to ask about the cost of Photocopies, Filing Fees or other services such as document translation costs DNA testing or the cost of evaluating your credentials. Be sure also to ask when these must be paid such as government filing fees, etc.

What is a Retainer?

After the initial consultation, the lawyer should send you a retainer agreement to sign. This agreement formalizes your relationship with the lawyer and establishes the scope of the case. It will include what the case is (i.e., an H-1B filing, a J-1 waiver, a case for permanent residency), the legal fees, the costs you will pay and when you are expected to pay them. Read this document carefully and understand the terms of the representation agreement. This is a legally binding agreement so make sure you are clear on the stipulations of your retainer agreement!

Four Steps to take before meeting an Immigration Lawyer

Before you begin your search for an immigration lawyer, here are Four Steps to take before your first meeting with an Immigration Lawyer. This checklist will help you enter your first consultation prepared and help guide you when searching for the right immigration lawyer.

Step 1: Assess your legal needs

Take the time to address what your current legal status is and do some research to find out what steps will need to be taken in the future to ensure that all of your legal immigration requirements will be met. Maybe you just recently decided to immigrate to the United States for work or family but don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you’ve just decided to get married to a foreign national. You might even already be a permanent resident in the United States but are thinking of becoming a U.S. citizen at some point in the future. You might even be an undocumented person who after careful consideration wants to transition to a legal status but needs guidance on how to ensure every step forward is done legally. No matter what your current immigration status is, it is critical that during these early stages you take the time to research and get legal consultation. Preparing as much as possible during the early stages of US immigration can prevent numerous legal problems further down the line. Another benefit of preparing ahead of time is that by learning the basic information and requirements regarding your immigration needs, you will have an important outline to work with when searching for the right immigration lawyer and provide you with a solid starting point.

A great place to start is the official United States government immigration website, US Citizenship and Immigration Services also known as USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov

Step 2: Know what to expect from an Immigration Lawyer

The right immigration lawyer should be able to give you an honest and thorough assessment of your case and be able to explain the options that are available to you based on not only the current law, but also changes that are in the legislative and judicial pipeline at any given time. The lawyer can then work with you to prepare your case and represent you in front of the administrative agency handling your application. The lawyer should be able to explain to the government agency why your case meets the requirements of the law and if problems arise, will use additional resources to help resolve the issue or prepare your case for an appeal. These are the minimum services any good lawyer should provide. If at any point you feel that your lawyer is not providing these basic provisions it’s time to reassess your lawyer and see where improvements can be made or get a new lawyer.

Step 3: Honesty is the Best Policy

This point can’t be stressed enough. Before you begin your search for an immigration lawyer it is critical that you accept that the best way for your lawyer to help you will mean that you will need to be completely honest in your dealings with that lawyer. The lawyer will need to have a clear, accurate picture of your situation. If you have worked without permission, neglected to file tax forms or been arrested the lawyer needs to know as it may affect your immigration options. Remember that your discussions with the lawyer and his/her staff are confidential. By withholding information not only are you doing yourself and your family a disservice but you are also preventing your lawyer from doing their job as best as possible in defending you. Honesty is always the absolute best policy.

Step 4: Gather All Your Documents

If there is one thing that is certain no matter what kind of immigration case you have it is that there will be alot of paperwork and documentation required. In almost every case, your lawyer will need to see just about everything in anyway, shape or form to your case. Gather all of your immigration documents, which include any documents relating to your education, financial statements and account information, tax information, rental and lease agreements, mortgage and home ownership documentation, accomplishments, marriages, divorces, birth of children, arrests or convictions, etc. Before you head out to your first consultation with a potential lawyer, be prepared and bring everything.

Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews and Testimonials

We pride from helping people navigate the immigration system, and obtain the best result. Immigration Lawyers are key to success. U.S. Immigration is a complicated and bureaucratic process that requires experience and honesty from professionals to assist in immigration matters. From petitions, to work authorizations, to residency and citizenship, our firm is ready to assist.
Diaspora Law, Immigration Firm is the smart option to protect the future of your family, we are licensed to practice immigration in all 50 states and look forward to listening to your concerns.

When looking for a lawyer, its important to see the attorney Reviews and Testimonials. Immigration lawyers can help anywhere in the country. Make sure to find best service from start to finish. Hablamos español

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Immigration Attorney Reviews:

EXCELLENCE IN IMMIGRATION LAW AT REASONABLE COST

Oscar and his support staff at Diaspora handled my wife’s I-601A
case wonderfully! We are very grateful for his expertise and caring.
Through the mounds of requirements and documents, he and his staff navigated us to the successful obtainment of her green
card and at a reasonable cost–much below the fees. We recommend him highly!

- (5 star review)

Smart, Strategic!

The Attorney and his team at Diaspora Law provided excellent and quality service. I felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. They were easily accessible, got back to me quickly. Oscar Barbosa and his staff all produced the quality of a Law Firm that anyone would want when hiring an Immigration Attorney.

- (5 star review)

Great Service!

Mr. Barbosa help me to to understand my immigration proceedings. I will highly recommend his services.

- (5 star review)

Citizenship Representation – Victor Z

Great lawyer! Would definitely recommend him. He is prompt, calm and knowledgeable. Thank you for all your help!
Muy buen abogado! Nuestra familia lo recomienda ampliamente. El es muy calmado, escucha y aconseja, muy conocedor de su profesión. Muchas gracias por su ayuda!

- (5 star review)

Good Lawyer

Oscar is articulate, knows what he is doing and always ready to answer any questions we have. He helped us with the process knowing the right track and my husband is now a resident. Thank you.

- (5 star review)

Professional and informative

Oscar Barbosa was very professional and informative. I have some friends who need consultations. I definitely will refer him to them. From 1 to 5 I give him a 5 for being trustworthy, knowledgable, responsive, and honest.

- (5 star review)

The Best Lawyer for those who need justice.

When I met Mr Barbosa, after being given a recommendation by a very good friend, I had already been through a whole range of lawyers in different cities , most of whom , would not take my case. I had almost lost hope but my friend insisted that we need to talk to Mr Barbosa. After listening to my case details, Mr Barbosa was the only lawyer who took my case. He asked for a very nominal flat fee but worked very very hard on my case. Throughout the entire process, I could call him or email him any time and he would always respond the same day and never charged me any extra for all of it. Mr Barbosa helped me get justice when all seemed lost. Mr Barbosa is truely a very good person as well as a great lawyer who truely believes in justice and fights for it. I can never thank him enough for how he helped me and my family and I am truely very grateful to him. Today my family has a better life because of Mr Barbosa. Thank you Mr Barbosa. Thank you very much!

- (5 star review)

Consultation for Citizenship

I consulted Mr. Barbosa with questions regarding citizenship. He responded in a timely fashion with expertise in this area. I am grateful for his assistance and will continue to consult him with future immigration concerns.

- (5 star review)

Excellent Service!

I have used many immigration lawyers during the past 5 years, among all of them, Oscar has been the best, excellent service, good friend, excellent person and very professional.
After my case was done, we continue to keep in touch as I refer him all my friends.

- (5 star review)

A Great Representative

Mr. Barbosa was a great lawyer. He was very easy to understand and made us feel like we were his number one priority. Very knowledgeable and trustworthy in a field full of money hungry lawyers capitalizing on immigrants who are sometimes lead to believe there’s a chance when there’s really not. Barbosa will tell you how it is and the reality of your case. Would recommend him to anyone out there seeking honest and trustworthy representation.

- (5 star review)

LGBT marriage petition approved! Great Service!!

After the June 26, 2014 supreme court decision overturning DOMA, my wife and I decided that we wanted to be formally married. To give a bit of background, she was already in the country legally for a year on an F1 visa. After the supreme court decision, we wanted to submit the I-130, I-485 Adjustment of Status and the I-765 Employment Authorization. To say that everything required by USCIS is overwhelming is an understatement. We turned to Mr. Barbosa to help guide us through the process and ensure that we left no stone unturned. He was AMAZING from start to finish. He always made sure to be available when we needed him or had questions. He went above and beyond to make sure our case was being handled appropriately. Since we didn’t know much about the process, we really had to trust him with our case. Luckily, he didn’t let us down. He really takes the time to know the details of his clients and design a custom strategy for whatever your needs are. After the horrible experiences we had with previous attorneys, Mr. Barbosa was a god-send. I will never turn to anyone else ever again. He is definitely our attorney from now on. We did exactly what he told us to do, we trusted whatever he did on our behalf and during the final marriage interview, it was exactly as he had predicted. We were approved immediately at the end of the interview! This was not luck. It was because he had us completely prepared. Since he had prepared everything so meticulously and since he prepped us on the process so clearly, everything went super smoothly at the interview. And last but not least, he was priced VERY fairly, as compared to other quotes we received from other attorneys. If you want a person who actually CARES and really does keep his word, I would highly recommend Mr. Barbosa. A+ all the way!

- (5 star review)

Excellent Immigration Law Service

Mr. Barbosa has provided my family with an outstanding immigration service in 2013. Since the first face-to-face meeting Mr. Barbosa has demonstrated to be professional and very knowledgeable on Immigration Law. Mr. Barbosa’s law firm has worked hard and provided all the paperwork that was required to move forward with my case in a timely manner. It was evident that Mr. Barbosa’s team high quality standards, integrity and hard work were key elements to the successful outcome of my case.

- (5 star review)

Oscar is an excellent attorney who is highly knowledgeable in the area of immigration law.

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I endorse this lawyer.

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Call us if you have any questions about these Reviews and Testimonials or to schedule a consultation. Learn about Legal Fees