Do I have to go through a lawyer to obtain an E2 visa?
I am asked this question regularly.
If one answers this question “literally”, the answer is no: the lawyer is not required to obtain an E2 visa. By cons, my personal answer to this question is: ” It is not mandatory, it is essential! “
In fact, an immigration lawyer, ideally certified in immigration in his state, will not only help you and save you time, because he usually presents this type of request, but he goes in addition to you to represent with immigration if there was any problem. Being accompanied in your project by a serious professional greatly increases your chances of success in obtaining the E2 visa. The lawyer also enjoys the secret of exchanges with his clients. What you tell him he can not be forced to repeat in the context of a possible investigation. When I interact with my clients, for example, I do not want to know the origin of their funds. I tell them to mention this point only with their lawyer, because I do not want to be informed of something illegal, for example. I am not a lawyer!
Many times I have been told by clients that I do not want to take a lawyer and that I will help them to present their case. I cannot! I do not have the right. As a business broker and real estate broker, I am here to help them buy a business, a house, I have all the licenses and insurance for that. I introduce them to all the professionals with whom I have built relationships of mutual trust: accountant, insurer, general contractor, property manager … I am also responsible for writing their business plan for the immigration file. But I can not give legal advice, it would be ” unauthorized practice of law “.
Similarly, when we negotiate a lease, I help you get the best deal and understand your contract. If we have to add a clause or negotiate a specific legal point, we will go through a business lawyer.
You can perfectly decide to present your file alone without the help of a lawyer, but on my side, I would send you to a colleague. I do not wish to intervene in cases where there is no lawyer in involved immigration. This would result in:
– I could not answer your visa questions, protect myself and not put my licenses into play
– I would be uncomfortable with sellers’ brokers because their first question when they know the buyer is a visa applicant is “who is their immigration lawyer?” Is it good, is it fast ?? “.
I also do not intervene when the client is accompanied by an “immigration consultant” because, under the law in Florida, this does not exist. This activity is not legal in our state. As mentioned above, in Florida, only lawyers are qualified to give immigration advice. This status exists in some states, but their activity is very framed, they must be limited to helping people fill out the forms, to translate them for example, in no case to give advice and tariffs are regulated: ” These individuals are not lawyers, may not give legal advice or provide legal services, and do not necessarily have any special immigration training. Description of the position of Immigration Consultant in California for example.
In addition, not being lawyers, they can not represent you and the secrecy of the customer-lawyer exchanges does not apply either. For my part, the client with a lawyer is more likely to have his E2 visa and I have more chance to see the transaction succeed: a refusal, a delay would put everyone in an uncomfortable situation. You do not give your health to someone who has not studied medicine, who do not have the diplomas, but who says he is “as competent as a doctor”? So go through an immigration lawyer, a real one.
I have seen cases where the lawyer raised very specific, very technical points that went beyond the initial request, points that would condition the renewal in 5 years. In this case, clearly, only a lawyer with diplomas and experience could raise these points.
In any case, run away from someone who would tell you that you should not take a lawyer because they are incompetent or too expensive (usually the next one on the list is the broker who is a “thief” and wants to sell very expensive to increase his commission). In addition, for the rates that I could see, the economy is not obvious …
Which lawyer should I take? Of course, I do not have the right to tax someone. I give several names and I encourage you to meet several, you must get along well with this person. It’s no mystery, I often work with a particular lawyer in Orlando because she’s serious, competent, and over time we’ve really learned to work together. But it is definitely you who make your choice and I will work in the same way, whatever the lawyer you have chosen to help you in your quest for the E2 visa.