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Blandon Law Immigration

Friday, June 4, 2010

Taxi Service or Subway Value?

     Yesterday, I represented a client in New York City. The taxi and subway reminded me of the two ways foreign nationals can obtain immigration benefits: the service of an attorney or the value of filing applications on their own.
     A taxi driver takes clients to their destination as quickly as possible, answering questions along the way, and pointing out options of places they might wish to explore. Likewise, an immigration attorney finalizes the applications and supporting documents, answers foreign nationals' questions during the process, and explains ancillary benefits (such as employment authorization, travel permits and family members' benefits).
     On the other hand, a subway is a better value than a taxi. Unfortunately, a subway takes much longer to get to the destination. In addition, when riders are lost, they rely on strangers for information -- or misinformation. Worse, riders go towards a specific destination without knowledge of other options available to them.  Not to mention the rat that might be found along the way.
      When foreign nationals consider filing a case on their own as a way to save money, I am reminded of the subway system. Their immigration benefits may be delayed, the information obtained from strangers may be inapplicable (or simply wrong) and ancillary benefits may be overlooked.
     Sometimes, foreign nationals who try to file on their own also find an unscrupulous notary or "immigration consultant" along the way.

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