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The Importance of Having Immigration Lawyers in California

In the light of current political events, immigration has become a very sensitive subject in
the United States. While America is considered a nation of immigrants, the process of legally
obtaining residency in the United States is an extremely complex and sensitive one. Ever since
my first business trip to Los Angeles in 2015, this topic has been very personal and life-changing
for my family and myself. Throughout my employment in California, navigating the
employment visa complexities has been really challenging. My immigration lawyer, Lynn
Miyamoto, has played a vital role in the development of my new life in America. Given the
singularity of every situation, immigration lawyers play a critical part due to their expertise, the
complexity of immigration processes and crucial nature of the end results. Due to my personal
experience I strongly believe immigration lawyers are necessary resources for immigration
related situations.
To begin, immigration lawyers possess fundamental knowledge of procedures and act as
mediators between their clients and the US government. In my case, my first work permit was a
TN visa that I obtained as a consultant for KPMG Canada. I was able to enter the United States
at the Montreal border without a problem and was extremely relieved that my thick paperwork
application was filed correctly. In contrast, my fellow consultant colleague’s paperwork
contained errors and she was denied entry. From that point on, I understood the critical
importance of not attempting this process alone and make use of experts to avoid such
devastating results. More recently, I applied for an H-1B visa which has required a great deal of  time, information and paperwork. When the regulations changed this year for this particular type
of visa, I was so grateful to have enlisted the help of my lawyer who was connected to a network
of immigration professionals. This greatly helped to obtain tips and accurate information
concerning the ever-changing requirements. Even though my application was not selected in the
H-1B lottery, I was confident that I had maximized my chances to have a successful application
had my case been selected.
Furthermore, navigating the American immigration is an intricate process with multiple
options for filing and different timing deadlines. Most individuals who have attempted and/or
succeeded to immigrate in the US would agree that a strategy is required to achieve their end
goal. From my early researches on the subject, I had initially thought that the path to citizenship
was very linear and clearly outlined. What I learned early on was that every situation is different
and may be interpreted with a different set of eyes. Immigration lawyers are definitively the best
resources to understand timing for filing, the subtle nuances of every case. For example,
processing times for individuals born in India or China are many years longer than most
countries due to backlog (1). Therefore, filing strategies should differ depending on the country
of origin of the applicant in order to avoid the candidate having to return to their home country.
Immigration lawyers are the best advisors to make these determinations and succeeding in
obtaining visas for their clients, especially due to the fact that they have performed this for
multiple clients and are seasoned experts.
Finally, enlisting the help of an immigration lawyer is absolutely necessary in most cases
due to the gravity of the situation. Moving to a new country is an incredibly impactful change to
one’s life and a negative end-result could be devastating. To maximize chances of a successful
outcome, investing in a lawyer to handle such critical matters is a minor price to pay in
comparison to the possibility of a negative outcome. In my case, my ability to keep my home,
pursue part-time MBA studies and maintain my position in Los Angeles depend on the
competence of my lawyer. The expertise of my lawyer has brought me the opportunity to achieve
a great career, study in a top-ranking school and live in Santa Monica, my dream city. In the
upcoming year, I will be filing for a green card through the PERM process. This employment
based visa will allow me to secure my future in the United States and have a permanent
residency here. Reaching this goal is of tremendous importance to me and enlisting the help of
my employer and lawyer has opened multiple doors for my professional and personal life.
In a broader context, recent developments with the DACA act and the increasing amounts
of deportations and arrests from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have secured the
need to reach out to immigration lawyers for help (2).In critical situations, attorneys can offer
representation in immigration courts to plead for their client’s case and defend their rights. In the
event of war refugees, immigration lawyers can maximize the chances of success for families
looking for an opportunity to secure the future of their family. Families in such critical situations
should not attempt to deal with US Immigration offices on their own.
To conclude, immigration lawyers play a vital role in obtaining residency status, avoiding
deportation or other immigration-related situations. In my specific experience, my immigration
lawyer has helped me save time and navigate through all the hurdles of employment-based visas
in the process of obtaining permanent residency in the United States. To further the discussion,
evaluating the success rate of visas filed without lawyers versus visas filed with immigration
lawyers would prove really interesting to understand the impact on the application outcome.

Works Cited

Bendix, Aria. ”Immigrant Arrests are Up, but Deportation is Down.” The Atlantic, May 17 2017,
https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2017/05/under-trump-immigrants-arrests-are-up-but
deportation-is-down/527103/

“Visa Bulletin for July 2017.” US Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs,
https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/bulletin/2017/visa-bulletin-for-july
2017.html. Accessed June 28 2017