Protecting Yourself Against Fraud When Hiring Your Immigration Attorney on the Internet

Today, many Immigration clients search for and hire an Attorney from the internet. In my case, I would say that many if not most of my clients don’t ever meet me in person. They live or work all over the United States and around the world. Use of the internet has made the process of searching for and hiring an attorney so much easier and efficient, but in some unfortunate cases, it could lead to Fraud. Of course, I hope that everyone who contacts my office for a Fiance Visa, Marriage Visa or Family Based Green Card, ultimately chooses my law practice, but if not me, then I want you to find somebody else that is also honest and will do a good job for you.
There are some simple steps that you can take to make sure you are hiring a reputable and honest Lawyer:
1. Call and discuss your case with the Lawyer who will be doing the work. If you can’t speak to the Attorney, without charge, move on.
2. Make sure the Attorney you choose has an office address.
3. Check for length of service and years of practice on the internet. Google or the Attorney’s website should identify the number of years of practice and length of presence on the internet.
4. Check for your Attorney’s Bar Number and Good standing.  This can be done by asking for your lawyer’s Bar Number and contacting the State that he or she is licensed in. Immigration Attorneys only need to be licensed in one state to practice throughout the county. So check with the Attorney’s state of license. My Bar number is on my Home page and there is a link directly to The Ohio Supreme Court. I welcome checks.
5. Be wary of service providers who claim they can speed up the Governmental approval process. Once done correctly and filed, the Attorney does not have special influence over USCIS or the State Department during the approval process.
6. Your lawyer should never guarantee a result. Making a guarantee that your Fiance Visa, Marriage Visa or Adjustment of Status will be approved is in my opinion, unethical. Sharing past successes or promoting a general success rate is fine.
7. Memberships in Immigration organizations or being recognized for good service in your area of practice is always a good thing to look for.
These simple steps can be very helpful when choosing an Attorney for assistance with your application for a  K1 Fiance Visa, a CR1 or IR1 Marriage Visa or Adjusting Status to obtain a family based Green Card. 
You are always welcome to call me if you have any questions or would like to discuss your Immigration matter. I can be reached toll free at 1-888-515-3529.
Attorney Jeff Pettys



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