Free Legal Representation for Pastors – If you are a Disciples pastor who might be eligible for religious worker status, please call Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel. We provide free legal representation to Disciples pastors in many types of immigration cases. All consultations are confidential.
Do I need a legal representative?
You have the right to represent yourself in your own immigration case. But BE CAREFUL! Immigration law and procedures are complex and change frequently. If you file certain applications and they are denied, you could be deported. Competent legal advice helps you navigate the process and protect yourself.
DON’T GET SCAMMED!
Some unscrupulous people take your money in exchange for false promises. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Some notaries, tax preparers, and “immigration consultants” illegally practice immigration law. It is illegal for these people to give you legal advice or even to tell you which forms to fill out. Learn more at www.stopnotariofraud.org.
Who can help me?
Only two types of people are allowed to represent you in your immigration case in the U.S.:
- Immigration attorneys – These individuals graduated from law school and are licensed to practice law in at least one state. There are many types of lawyers. Look for someone who specializes in immigration law.
- Accredited representatives – The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) certifies certain non-attorneys to handle immigration cases. These individuals work at non-profit organizations and can charge only low fees. A list of accredited representatives is available on the Department of Justice website.
How much will it cost?
Private attorneys set their own fees. Most charge a set rate for certain types of cases. Your attorney should give you a written agreement telling you how much you will have to pay and what she will do for you.
Non-profit organizations provide legal services for free or reduced fees. Some organizations require you to earn below a certain income level to qualify for their services. Your attorney or accredited representative should give you a written agreement telling you how much (if anything) you will have to pay.
In addition, you will likely have to pay the fees that the government charges for applications and petitions. A list of many of these fees is available here: www.uscis.gov/forms.
What can I expect from my attorney or accredited representative?
Your attorney must keep the information you give her confidential. She must be truthful to both you and the government. She should explain your case to you so that you understand it. If you do not understand something, ask. She will tell you what work she is doing on your case.
How do I protect myself?
- Never sign anything you do not understand.
- Never sign blank forms.
- Never sign anything that contains false statements or untrue information.
- Keep a copy of every document you give to your attorney.
- Keep a copy of everything your attorney submits to the government.
- Make sure you get a receipt when you make a payment.
How do I find an immigration attorney or accredited representative?
- Search for a private immigration attorney at www.ailalawyer.com.
- Search for a non-profit organization at www.immigrationadvocates.org/nonprofit/legaldirectory/
- Call Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel! We’re happy to help.