Working with an experienced immigration attorney can give you the peace of mind you need to tackle your case, whether you’re applying for an immigrant visa or you need deportation defense. But how much does it cost? What can you expect to pay in immigration attorney fees? Here’s what you need to know.
Common Immigration Attorney Fees
Like any other service, you have to pay for an immigration attorney’s help with your case. It’s important to note that you should watch out for people who say they’re “immigration consultants,” “immigration advisors” or “immigration advocates,” because they’re not attorneys – and often, they don’t provide actual services or answer your legal questions.
When you hire an immigration attorney, remember that every lawyer is different, and the cost will vary between law firms. You also need to know that:
- You’ll often have to pay an advanced fee to get started on your case.
- Hourly rates are different between attorneys. One attorney might charge $50 per hour, while another could charge $200 per hour.
- Visas have different rate structures, and those rate structures are set by the U.S. government. You’ll have to pay filing fees for the immigration documents you file with the government.
- You could be eligible for premium processing, but that results in an additional fee.
What Are Advanced Fees for Immigration Attorneys?
An advanced fee is money you pay an attorney before he or she will start working on your case. Usually, attorneys calculate them by evaluating your case and determining how much it will cost to complete based on an hourly rate. If your attorney works on your case longer than expected, you’ll incur hourly charges – but you’ll know about them ahead of time. Really, what’s happening is that you pay the attorney and he or she “works off” the balance using an hourly rate.
So what if you’ve overpaid because your case was easier than the attorney anticipated? You’ll get a refund of the balance. If you pay an attorney who charges $100 per hour a $1,000 retainer fee, but she finishes your case in 8 hours, you’ll get $200 back. (That’s just an example, though – every attorney’s retainer fee and hourly rate is different.)
Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney?
If you’re considering immigrating to the United States, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with a Wisconsin immigration attorney who will talk to you about your case and answer your questions.