Statue, magnifying glass, passport and world map. Concept: immigration help, legal resources
Adina A.
By: adinaa
Read in 12 minutes

Immigration Help: Legal Resources

22 0
0
Blog_Banner_1

If you are an immigrant and in need of legal help, the best thing you can do is educating yourself about what legal resources are available. In other words, you have to know where you can go to seek immigration help: information, legal assistance, and support. 

As an immigrant, what kind of situations may require you to seek legal help? You may want to apply for legal immigration status by getting a green card through a family member, for example. Perhaps you are having an issue with your landlord and he or she is not addressing a major problem in your apartment or you are facing eviction. You could also need legal assistance for personal issues such as domestic violence, custody, or divorce. Or you may need immigration help in order to get access to public benefits or special education services for a child.

In situations like these, cultural and linguistic barriers plus high legal fees make access to legal support and immigration help a real challenge. Your first step should be empowering yourself with information on where and how to get the help you need. 

This article will help you. We include an extensive list of immigration help resources divided into two sections: the first one covers any immigration legal service that you may need and the second one refers to other legal services, not necessarily related to immigration. For each section, we include private services, low-cost services and online resources where you can get free help.  

RESOURCES FOR IMMIGRATION LEGAL SERVICES 

Although there is no government-appointed counsel in immigration court, immigrants are allowed to hire a private lawyer to represent them or work with a pro bono lawyer at a non-profit organization to get the immigration help they need.

Private Immigration Legal Services

If you can afford to pay for a lawyer to get immigration help, it is worth considering the cost because most non-profit organizations providing free legal services to immigrants have long waiting lists due to having limited resources.

If you take this route, make sure that the private immigration attorney you hire is actually a licensed lawyer in good standing with a State Bar Association and that they maintain their license with continuing legal education. One of the best resources to check this information is through the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) lawyer search. If the immigration attorney is a member of AILA, that is also a great way to check and make sure the person is actually a lawyer and not a notario fraud. To read more about notario fraud, click here. You can also check out the government’s list of lawyers who have been disciplined and make sure you do not work with a lawyer on that list.

Free or Low-Cost Immigration Legal Services

There are several websites available where you can search for low cost (or even free) immigration help and legal assistance in your state or region. 

Free Online Immigration Resources

If you are not able to pay for a lawyer or find a free lawyer to provide you with immigration help, you can also access many free legal resources available online:

RESOURCES FOR OTHER TYPES OF LEGAL SERVICES 

Immigrants may also be interested in seeking legal help for issues that do not have to do with immigration, such as legal advice and representation for public benefits, family law, evictions, employment, education, and other civil matters. You can either hire a private lawyer or seek free or low-cost legal assistance from a legal service provider.

Private Legal Services for Various Legal Issues

Just like when looking for an immigration lawyer, when you are looking for any kind of lawyer, you want to make sure that the person is licensed to practice law. There are private attorneys that specialize in every kind of law. You can search the American Bar Association lawyer referral directory and bar directories and lawyer finders for a lawyer that has experience in the kind of specific legal issue that you need help with.

Free or Low-Cost Legal Services for Various Legal Issues

  • For state-level criminal cases, you can search for the public defender office in your state for legal help. Some states do not have public defender systems, and instead, you can opt for a free lawyer appointed by the criminal court. If you are facing federal criminal charges, you can look up the federal public defender office in your state
  • For civil law matters, you can go to lawhelp.org and search by state. Each state will have a list of resources for different legal issues such as employment, housing, consumer, family law, domestic violence, probate estate planning, and public benefits
  • The Legal Services Corporation offers a list of legal aid organizations that offer help around the country – you can search by zip code. Please note that unfortunately because of funding restrictions from the federal government, most legal aid organizations that receive federal legal aid funding are barred from providing help to undocumented immigrants. Here is a list of types of immigration status people can have to qualify for legal advice in organizations funded by the federal government. However, in some states, there are legal aid organizations that do not receive federal funding and therefore are able to help undocumented and all kinds of immigrants

Free Online Legal Help

If you are not able to pay for a lawyer or get a free lawyer to help you on a legal issue you are facing, you can access free legal resources online:

Although getting access to legal help can be challenging if you are an immigrant, you always have options. Educating yourself about what resources are available, either for a fee, at low-cost, or for free, is the first step to getting the help you need.

Don’t miss the opportunity to continue educating yourself! If you are a business owner, or you’re considering starting your own business, Camino Financial Newsletter is the resource to gather all the information you need. By subscribing to our email newsletter, you’ll receive useful tips every week on business funding, management, technology, and other topics to help you win big in business. Join a community of thousands of entrepreneurs passionate about building a legacy in business!

 

 

Check if you
qualify for a loan

LEARN MORE