The United States, US, has a very precise code of law for allowing any non-US citizens to stay here legally for any period of time. The thoroughness of these policies are crucial for US citizen safety; however, any non-citizen, illegal non-citizen resident, or legal non-citizen resident may find it a more difficult than it needs to be to apply for legal residency such as a work visa, asylum, or citizenship when trying to do these things themselves. An Immigration Lawyer is crucial to overcoming the cultural, time and legally ambiguous barriers one might face.

The first step in becoming a legal resident of the US is filing one’s paperwork. Whether it’s the I-589 to apply for Asylum and Withholding of Removal, Form N-400 Application for Naturalization or any other document the whole process is going to take time. Immigration Lawyers are an asset here because in urgent cases they can help to expedite the process. For example, a college student deciding to study abroad in the US only has so much time to get his or her information filled out and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, in order to reside physically in the US for the duration of their studies. If this student were to incorrectly fill out a form when applying for their visa the application would be voided and the student would have to start the process over again, however, now this individual doesn’t have as much time left to get approval to reside in the US for his or her studies. In this case an Immigration Lawyer could not only get the process expedited for the student so they could attend classes on time, but also help in providing an explanation to the USCIS as to why the student’s application was previously voided and insight on how the individual made that mistake.

A significant conflict non-citizens of the US may experience in attempting to apply for legal residency-for any period of time in the US- is a difference in language and culture. Because

often times preexisting barriers such as these can be presented to an individual trying to legally apply for US residency, an Immigration Lawyer is essential to act as kind of a mediator between his or her client and the USCIS-this is so important because the lawyer in this case will be acting with the interest of both parties in mind. For instance, the view of how the questions on the paperwork for US residency should be answered could differ completely from how the USCIS wants them to answer the questions in order to ensure security for US citizens. The contrasts seen in views will most likely be based on the applicant’s culture and things they’ve experienced. If the applicant has had a pretty relaxed experience with immigration they might not be as thorough as needed in their answers and have their application for residency voided; this could pose a problem especially in cases where time is crucial or the individual’s safety is at risk in their current country of residency. I feel so strongly that an Immigration Lawyer is important for getting past the barriers having a different culture may impose because this essay was originally going to be about how to apply for Asylum, however, I felt like I needed a lawyer to explain things to me just reading the step-by-step instructions for all the questions on Form

I-589. For almost 18 years I’ve lived in Warner Robins, Georgia as a “military brat” with both of my parents in the Air Force. I helped my mom fill out the FAFSA for my school, I know how to  file taxes, there are certain safety documents I had to read and sign concerning procedures in certain situations should anything happen on base before accepting my job at the Commissary; despite all of this, learning the process for applying for Asylum with all of it’s extenuating circumstances, exceptions and rules on what branch of the process had jurisdiction over the other completely exhausted my mind. Without the years of studying, observing and being an active part of law I feel as if I couldn’t apply for Asylum correctly without some sort of help from someone more experienced. With this in mind, I feel as if it is absolutely crucial to anyone unaccustomed to filing out paperwork a very specific way to have someone knowledgeable helping them.

Another reason an Immigration Lawyer is important to have is because they’re knowledgeable in criminal law as well. For instance, if an individual has ever been charged with a crime in his or her country of origin or the US they must answer what it was and why on applications such as Form I-589. With the help of an Immigration Lawyer, the individual will be better equipped to plead their case when applying for US residency of any sort if they’ve had to previously appear in front of the criminal court system. This shows the the versatility of the conflicts an individual would be better equipped to handle with the help of someone by their side who’s practiced it and really knows what they’re doing.

When facing barriers that can conflict with things such as an individual’s time, culture and other legal challenges it can be really overwhelming, however, having someone on your side who knows what they’re doing makes things possible. Immigration Lawyers are not only important for the individual wishing to come into the United States because they also have a helping hand in the deciding process of who else will be a part of the history and influence of this great nation.