WHY USE OUR SERVICE?

WE ENABLE YOU & YOUR FIANCEE OR SPOUSE TO BE TOGETHER AS QUICKLY
AS POSSIBLE, THEREBY MINIMIZING PAINFUL SEPARATION AND STRESS,
THUS ULTIMATELY SAVING YOU VALUABLE TIME & MONEY.

WHAT IS A GOOD IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY WORTH?
"WEIGHT IN GOLD"
Comedian Rodney Dangerfield must have been thinking about immigration attorneys when he quipped "We get no respect!" Many people (and even some other attorneys) think that an immigration attorney just "fills out a standard paperwork form for 45 minutes" and mails it to the U.S. Government. These folks feel "Hey, the forms are free on the Internet, and I can do that, and cut out the middleman and save a lot of time and money!".

Click Here for: SOME THINGS WHICH CAN GO WRONG.

Actually, an effective and experienced immigration attorney does a lot more than "fill out a form" or do "paperwork". He counsels a client about immigration options. He formulates a strategic plan to secure an immigration benefit. He prepares and files legal petitions and supporting exhibits. He screens for legal issues and problems even before starting the case. He thus avoids common and often costly mistakes and pitfalls in the process, and accordingly prevents nerve-wracking delays. He provides on-going case status information. He answers a myriad of legal questions from the client throughout the case and afterwards. He resolves any problems or issues with case processing at the Immigration Offices and U.S. Consulates.

In short, he offers legal representation from start to finish until the visa or benefit is finally achieved. Furthermore, the reputations of many experienced immigration attorneys are well-known to various Immigration Officials and Consular Officers. This greatly benefits the client's petition by reinforcing to government officials that the case is well-prepared, meritorious and deserving of quick approval.

USCIS (then INS) spokesperson Karen Kraushaar remarked to the media: "Immigration is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and THE LAWYERS WHO CAN FIGURE IT OUT ARE WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD." Washington Post, April 24, 2001.

The U.S. State Department, Visa Office (VO), has recognized the critical value of immigration attorneys in the visa process: "In the sometimes complex world of visas, a good attorney can prepare a case properly, weed out "bad" cases, and alert applicants to the risks of falsifying information presented to the Consular Officer. The attorney can help the Consular Officer by organizing the case in a logical manner; by clarifying issues of concern; by avoiding duplication of effort (reducing interview time); and by providing the applicant with the necessary understanding of the intricacies of the visa process thereby easing the pressure on consular sections to provide information to the applicant". Minutes, AILA/VO Liaison Meeting (May 10, 1990), reported in 67 Interpreter Releases, 950, 967, 969-70 (Aug. 27, 1990).

Links to help you select a good immigration attorney:
"Finding a Damn Good Immigration Attorney"
"Finding the Right Immigration Lawyer"

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT A GOOD IMMIGRATION LAWYER DOES FAR MORE THAN FILL OUT FORMS OR PAPERWORK - A GOOD IMMIGRATION LAWYER MAKES REAL CHANGE IN THE REAL LIVES OF REAL PEOPLE!!!

SOME PEOPLE WHO SHOULD CONSIDER
USING AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER BECAUSE
OF POTENTIAL PROBLEMS IN CASE PROCESSING

*Petitioners and Visa Applicants who have Past or Present Criminal, Legal, Financial or Marital Problems: Criminal Histories, Lawsuit or Legal Problems, Past Domestic Violence or Sexual Harassment Issues, Medical Problems, Past or Present Bankruptcies or Substantial Debt or Liability which Impacts on Proof of Sufficient Qualifying Income, or Extensive Marital and Divorce Histories, or Legal Issues concerning Father's Permission to Allow Lady Applicant's Minor Children to Use Visas to Exit the Country;
*
People with Income Issues: Low or Uneven Income, typically Retired Persons, or Self-Employed Workers with extensive deductions which reduce sufficient qualifying income;
*
People with Inconsistent or No Employment which Impacts on Proof of Sufficient Qualifying Income
*
People with Tax Issues and Problems which Impacts on Proof of Sufficient Qualifying Income
*
People with Past or Present Immigration Issues: Previous Visa and Immigration Histories or Current Difficulties, including lady visa applicants with extensive past travel in the U.S., or with relatives in the U.S. without immigration status;
*
People who Prefer to Avoid Mistakes, Problems, Delays, Worries, and simply don't have abundant extra time, natural expertise or learning passion for the immigration process, and would prefer attorney assistance and can afford the fees.

REVIEW OUR CONTRACTS FOR
PROFESSIONAL LEGAL SERVICE*
(*
Please Note That the Contracts Here are Only Proposals for Service. We Reserve the Right to Offer a Modified Contract Proposal in Unusually Complex Cases.)
Contract for U.S. Fiancee Visa in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format Contract for U.S. Spousal Visa in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format

Review Our Retainer Agreement Letter
Retainer Agreement Letter in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format

Review Our Contract for Premarital Agreement
Contract for Premarital Agreement in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format

READ OUR MANY CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

WHY USE OUR SERVICE?
Speed, Ease & Convenience

We can save you up to weeks in visa processing time because: 1)We begin the work at once; 2) we do all the legal petition work and apply our expertise to complete the job; 3) we stress accuracy and precision in petition preparation, thus avoiding the kinds of routine mistakes which force the Immigration Service to return many petitions for additional evidence or correction.

·Our petitions are submitted to the Immigration Service with a Form G-28 Attorney Notice of Appearance, reflecting our name, "Law Offices of Gary G. Bala", which assures almost instant recognition in the Regional Service Centers and most of the American Consulates. Our petitions are sent U.S. Priority with Signature Confirmation to prove delivery. They attach and showcase a Presentation of Exhibits format of supporting documents which are indexed, tabbed and protected in the preferred Immigration Service format in accordance with Regional Service guidelines, which prevent document loss by government file clerks and encourage ease of handling and thus speed.

·Our petitions have been approved by the Immigration Service Regional Service Centers in extremely rapid time-frames: one of our visa petitions filed in the nation's busiest Service Center (California) was approved in just four (4) days from filing date:

·Our clients enjoy receiving a visa for their fiancee issued by the American Consulate within short time frames from when our office's services are retained.

·Our clients are our best references, and include doctors, attorneys, engineers and business owners.

Worry Free and Time Efficient Results

Our attorney service is tested and the results are proven. All of our visa petitions have been approved (100% success rate), and nearly all our visas have been issued (99% success rate). Furthermore, we will relieve you and your new International lady from the time and stress burdens of dealing alone with the Immigration Service bureaucracy and the U.S. immigration process, thus allowing you both to focus on your social and personal obligations and work demands.

FREE Initial Consultation with no obligation

We welcome your initial call or e-mail to ask us about our service, what we do, how we do it and why. Our objective is to achieve the union of you and your new International Lady in the USA in as smooth and expiditious a time frame as the circumstances of your case will permit.

FREE and Continuous Legal Advice

We offer continuous and creative advice and solutions to you and your new International Lady in immigration, estate planning and even investment issues.

We are ready to answer your inevitable questions such as:

Can we get a fiancee visa extension?

Can the gentleman or lady ever pursue a second or third fiancee visa, if the first one does not culminate in marriage?

How much time does the lady fiancee have to enter the U.S. once she is issued the visa?

What are the pros and cons of the fiancee visa vs. foreign marriage and the spousal visa?

After the marriage under the fiancee visa, what immigration work needs to be done to assure that the new bride will achieve legal residency?

When is the fiancee or bride eligible for a U.S. social security card, work permission, health insurance coverage, driver's license, school studies and travel to and from the U.S.?

And many others.

Retaining our service pays for itself many times over in the sheer volume and quality of our practical and tested answers to your questions.

Immigration Service and Consulate Knowledge

We know and have worked with the Immigration Service and U.S. consulates abroad. We have personally visited the following Immigration and State Department facilities: 1. National Benefits Center and National Records Center, 2. National Visa Center and 3. Nebraska Service Center. The U.S. Consulate in Bogota, Colombia in particular has seen dozens of our petitions and knows our name. Our immigration office holds a Business License in Colombia with the Camara de Comercio. One of our paralegals is a former U.S. Consular employee and has over twenty years experience dealing with visa issues. Our paralegals, where appropriate, can assist the ladies on the ground in the foreign capitals where we are located with answers to difficult questions, special problems or unusual circumstances.

Case Status Checking

Our attorney website, one of the best around, offers you and your lady 24/7 Petition Status Checking. SEE: Check Your Petition Status. (Our attorney website is also in Spanish.)

We can also monitor your individual petition status with the Immigration Service and U.S. Consulate and provide you with on-going report and advice, as appropriate.

In the event true difficulties arise with your case, our office, as a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), can utilize the service of the Lawyers Liason Committee which contacts the Regional Service Centers to resolve issues and request expediting of your petition in appropriate cases.

American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

Attorney Certification

We send the Consulate a Form G-28 Attorney Notice of Appearance Certification to help expedite your visa processing, in appropriate cases.

Logistical Support

Paralegal assistance in Colombia and selected locations to assist in appropriate cases with retrieval of documents and prepare fiancees for interviews.

Pro-Active Methodology

We immediately send you a simple but comprehensive questionnaire and document request including the Immigration Service adit color photograph requirements, and send the same to your fiancee in her native language, to promptly begin the process for petition filing. Incorporating your responses, we also send you, in advance of the Consulate's notification papers, the completed Affidavit of Support, DS-230, Parts I and II, DS-156 and DS-156k.

We also send you practical and tested suggestions and tips and "pitfalls" to avoid for 1) the all-important Consular Interview and medical examination based on our experience with actual cases; and 2) the equally critical U.S. Port of Entry Immigration Service interview.

Security and Comfort of Attorney Level Service

Our Attorney Experience and Qualifications are open for review. Any Attorney should be equally forthcoming in detailing his or her Law School credentials, current Law Board licensing and Experience level. We encourage you to check Attorney credentials and references.

As concerns non-attorney visa services, beware of non-attorney immigration "consultants", "professionals" or "advisors" who have recently mushroomed in the family-based visa industry and on the Internet. Many of these consultants have questionable immigration credentials, and work inside of marriage and introduction agencies as a way to allow the agency to charge you additional fees. Others are home-based Internet businesses started by a website owner with dubious educational qualifications who has secured a fiancee or spousal visa for his foreign-born wife and has now become an overnight "expert", and may charge a fee almost as high as an attorney's.

Still others work outside of agencies as part-time translators and even taxi drivers and flower-delivery attendants, and rail against lawyers and attorney fees as a way to justify their fees which they claim are "lower". In actuality, many of these consultants wind up costing you more than an attorney service with an all-inclusive flat fee such as our office because they charge you "per person" for each visa form and "per correction" for each mistake, and because their errors and omissions waste your valuable time and attention, and over-tax your patience.

Immigration Service regulations and federal laws allow only attorneys and in very limited cases law students and non-profit organizations to represent you before the USCIS and U.S. Consulates. See 8 CFR Section 292.1, et seq.

Here's what the Immigration Service says about non-attorney consultants:

"A visa [or immigration] consultant or any other person who is not a licensed attorney or an authorized representative pursuant to 8 C.F.R. 292 may only assist a person in in completing preprinted forms in exchange for nominal remuneration, if any, and must not hold himself or herself out as qualified in the area of immigration and naturalization law and procedures...When [the consultant] fee is other than "nominal", [the consultant] has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
INA Sec. 292, 8 U.S.C. 1362."

See International Matchmaking Organizations: A Report to Congress, March 1999, Page 18. INS, Department of Justice.

Immigration consulting fraud in the U.S. is widely-reported. See "Immigration Expert", Newsday.com, April 21, 2003. Outside of the U.S., some non-attorney immigration consultants abroad are now reported to be openly involved in the "White Slave Trade", see Christian Science Monitor, Sex Slavery Racket a Growing Problem in Latin America, Timothy Pratt, January 11, 2001.

Meanwhile, to help combat immigration consulting fraud within the U.S., Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation in Congress which makes certain non-attorney consulting practices federal criminal offenses, and which prohibits non-attorney consultants from implying in advertisements that they may be attorneys or giving legal advice. See: The Immigrants' Protection Act (IPA) S. 3074. For laws and resources on the problem of Immigration Consultant Fraud, see: Immigration Consultant Fraud: Laws and Resources.

Because of the potential for consumer fraud, many states also prohibit or severely restrict non-attorney immigration consultants, professionals or advisors such as New Jersey (N.J. Rev. Stat. Sec. 2c:21-31 [1997]), Arizona (Ariz. Rev. Stat. Sec. 12-2701 [1997]), New Mexico (N.M. Stat. Ann. Sec. 36-6-5 [Mitchie 1997]), Minnesota (Minn. Stat. Sec. 325e.031 [1996]). Other states such as California are also combating the problem of non-attorney immigration fraud by opening offices to investigate and prosecute such "practitioners". See Announcement of new Office of Immigrant Assistance, California Department of Justice, Press Release, March 09, 2001, Attorney General of State of California.

In Massachusetts, persons posing as "immigration lawyers" will be caught and prosecuted. See: Boston Globe, June 03, 2003. Boston Globe, June 03, 2003.


Many cases call for a close analysis to anticipate
and avoid potential difficulties. Please see:
SOME THINGS WHICH CAN GO WRONG

E-Mail: garybala@VISA-Attorney.com

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Gary G. Bala, USA Immigration Attorney.