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Immigration Blog

What Does An Immigration Lawyer Do?  

Have you been waiting endlessly for a response on your petition? Have you faced a visa rejection? Do you have concerns about potential deportation? Do you fear you might lose your immigration status after a divorce?

These are only a few of the scenarios when you might need an immigration attorney.

But what does an immigration lawyer do, exactly?

We will explain the services immigration attorneys offer, focus on who might need their help and share what to consider when looking for a reliable legal firm.

Need an immigration attorney?

Schedule a consultation

Bradford H. Bernstein

This article was written and reviewed by Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., who has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.


What Is An Immigration Lawyer?

An immigration lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in immigration law and provides legal assistance and advice to individuals, families and businesses navigating the challenging immigration process.

An immigration lawyer is well-versed in every aspect related to visas, Green Cards, citizenship and naturalization, deportation protection, asylum applications, refugee status and other immigration-related matters.

Immigration attorneys can represent you before government agencies, such as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and immigration courts.

What Does An Immigration Lawyer Do?

From employment and family immigration to deportation defense, an immigration lawyer can help you in various areas of immigration law.

But what do immigration lawyers do exactly?

Employment immigration

An immigration lawyer supports employers and employees in obtaining visas for work and employment-based Green Cards. This includes applying for various visa categories, such as EB-1, EB-2, EB-3 and providing legal advice on immigration regulations throughout the employment period.

Family immigration

An immigration lawyer facilitates the reunion of families through family-sponsored immigration processes. This includes filing family-based petitions and obtaining visas for spouses, children, parents and other eligible family members.

Citizenship and naturalization

An immigration lawyer guides eligible permanent residents through the process of becoming naturalized citizens. They help file citizenship applications, prepare clients for the naturalization interview and test, and represent clients throughout the naturalization process.

Fiancé visas

An immigration lawyer plays a crucial role in uniting couples by assisting with filing K-1 petitions.

Investor visas

An immigration lawyer helps investors navigate the complex EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and acquire investment-based immigration status.

Deportation and removal defense

An immigration lawyer represents individuals facing deportation or removal proceedings. They assess potential defenses, file necessary motions and advocate for clients.

Asylum and refugee protection

An immigration lawyer helps prepare and submit asylum applications. They also help clients navigate the challenges of humanitarian relief.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

An immigration lawyer helps clients who entered the country as children obtain protection from deportation and secure work authorization through the DACA program.


An immigration lawyer helps people facing inadmissibility issues prepare and present their cases, advocate for relief and fight to find a way to overcome barriers and continue their immigration journey.

Mandamus litigation

An immigration lawyer files legal actions that compel government agencies to make decisions on immigration cases that have been pending for an extended period of time.

Nonimmigrant visas

An immigration lawyer facilitates temporary stays through filing for various visa categories, such as a B-2 tourist visa, an I visa for journalists and media, an R-1 visa for religious workers or an F-1 visa for international students.

A woman with a child visiting a lawyer's office​
An immigration lawyer works in various areas of immigration law, including employment and family immigration, investor visas and DACA​

Who Needs An Immigration Lawyer?

From students looking for education opportunities in the U.S. to those seeking to join their loved ones, working with an immigration lawyer makes sure clients are well-prepared to handle the challenges that come their way.

Who might need an immigration lawyer:

People seeking family reunification

If clients want to reunite with their family members, an immigration lawyer can help them in the family-based immigration processes, such as sponsorship, petitions and visa applications.

Employers and employees for work-based immigration

If clients are employees seeking employment immigration in the U.S. or employers looking to solve the complexities of hiring international talent, an immigration lawyers can help them secure work visas and employment-based Green Cards.

Business investors and entrepreneurs

If clients are seeking to establish or expand their business in the U.S., an immigration lawyer can help them obtain an investor visa and advise them on business-related immigration matters.

Naturalization and citizenship applicants

If clients are permanent residents seeking to become U.S. citizens, an immigration lawyer can guide them through the naturalization process, prepare and file their citizenship applications and help them get ready for the naturalization interview.


If clients are international students, an immigration attorney can assist them with student visas and other immigration matters related to education.

Asylum seekers and refugees

If clients are fleeing persecution or violence in their home country, an immigration lawyer can help them file an asylum application, represent them in asylum hearings and advocate for their status.

Victims of crimes and human trafficking

If clients have been victims of crimes or human trafficking, an immigration lawyer can help them apply for special visas or relief to access protection.

People facing deportation

If clients are at risk of deportation, an immigration attorney can represent them with the deportation proceedings, explore options for relief and fight for their rights.

People seeking nonimmigrant visas

If clients are planning a short-term stay for tourism, business or medical treatment, an immigration attorney can help them obtain and extend various types of temporary visas in line with the current immigration regulations.

An immigration law book and a gavel​
Seek the services of an immigration attorney if you want to reunite with your loved ones in the U.S., you are considering opening a business or you are facing deportation​

How Much Does An Immigration Lawyer Cost?

The cost of hiring an immigration lawyer can vary based on several factors, including:

  • The type of immigration service needed
  • The complexity of the case
  • The lawyer’s experience and expertise
  • The location of the legal practice

Here are the most common immigration lawyer fee structures:

Hourly rates

Immigration lawyers might charge an hourly rate for their services. Hourly rates typically range from $150 to $500 or more per hour and can vary based on the lawyer’s experience and location.

Flat fees

Some immigration lawyers offer flat fees for specific services — for example, for filing a visa application, handling a Green Card petition or representing you in a naturalization process. Flat fees are used for routine cases and provide clarity on the total cost.

Retainer fees

Some immigration lawyers work on a retainer basis, where you pay an upfront amount to secure their services. As they work on the case, they will deduct fees from the retainer. Once the retainer is finished, you might need to pay additional fees.

Consultation fees

Some lawyers charge a separate fee for an initial consultation. This fee is meant to cover the lawyer’s time during the initial meeting to discuss your case and provide preliminary advice.

How To Choose An Immigration Lawyer

From experience to client approach, there are multiple factors to consider before you decide on an immigration lawyer.

Consider the attorney’s:

  • Expertise: Look for an immigration lawyer who is well-versed in the details of immigration regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Experience: Consider a lawyer with experience in handling cases similar to yours. They are likely to have encountered various situations, developed effective strategies and gained insights into navigating the immigration process challenges.
  • Fee structure: Opt for an attorney whose fee structure is transparent and aligns with your budget. Some lawyers charge hourly rates, while others may offer flat fees. Make sure to check any additional expenses that might be related to your case.
  • Track record: Research the lawyer’s success stories. Look for reviews, testimonials or case outcomes that show their ability to achieve positive results in various cases.
  • Client-centered approach: Look for a lawyer who takes the time to understand your needs, communicates effectively and pays attention to your concerns.

To choose the right immigration lawyer for your case, schedule a consultation.  Ask questions to determine whether their approach aligns with your expectations. Inquire about the way they keep clients updated throughout the legal process.

Looking for an immigration lawyer?

Contact Spar & Bernstein!

Need An Immigration Lawyer? Contact Spar & Bernstein

At The Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, we understand that immigration matters can be complex, emotional and time sensitive.

Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys provides personalized legal support to help you navigate through every step of your immigration journey.

Tackling all spheres of immigration law since 1958, we have helped thousands of clients build their success story in the U.S.

With a client-centered approach, we prioritize your unique needs, making sure that you receive the attention and care you deserve.

If you are looking for more information on immigration topics, check out Brad Show Live. Hosted by Managing Partner of the Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, Brad Bernstein, the show provides legal insights into immigration and personal injury law in a compassionate and straightforward manner.

Trust us with your immigration case and we will work tirelessly to secure a positive outcome for you and your loved ones.

Need an immigration attorney?

Schedule a consultation