Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer? Three reasons not to DIY immigration matters

It is human nature to search for help with a problem. Time was, you got out a phone book and called a plumber if your sink was clogged beyond belief. In those days, you certainly called a doctor if you were feeling really sick.

And then came the Internet.

All of a sudden, the mentality of the public at large became, “If I can type the question, I can find the answer.” But what happens when Google can’t tell you how to unclog that pipe?

Or even more seriously, when Google is not able to give you a physical examination, let alone treat you for an illness.

Folks go on the web, read different sites, see what total strangers contribute to a forum, and try to figure it out for themselves.

Never mind the fact that the “do it yourself” method is not best for the hopelessly clogged sink, so it certainly cannot be a good idea when your immigration status is the issue.

I often use medical analogies when replying to the question: “Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer?”

  1. When I personally had a herniated disc and was in terrible, crippling pain, I had surgery.  Immediately afterwards, my spine felt relief.  If I had tried to fix the disc myself, it would likely not have ended up that way…You may be facing deportation and are in awful emotional pain with worry that you may be thrown out of the US.  Now would be the time to see the best immigration lawyer you can find, and apply for relief before the Immigration Court.  Your chances of having a life free of pain, go up exponentially if you get professional help.
  2. When I could not see three feet in front of me without glasses, I considered LASIK.  In fact I actually did have that procedure (along with 28 million other people).  It was one of the best choices I ever made.  I would compare this experience to trying to live in America without a green cardYou might be able to function at some level, but having that document will solve a great deal of problems.  You need an immigration lawyer to help you get a green card, just like I needed the laser eye surgeon to fix my vision.
  3. When I tore cartilage in my knee and it hurt just to walk, I wanted the pain to go away.  This was my latest medical experience.  I had arthroscopic knee surgery. Again, this is not something I could have fixed on my own. I needed professional help.

If you have a problem with your work visa, family petition, naturalization application, or any other immigration case, you need an immigration lawyer.

You cannot try to fix these things on your own (or with the assistance of somebody who handles many other kinds of legal cases). In the above scenarios I saw three different surgeons.

  • For my spinal surgery I was treated by a neurosurgeon.
  • For my LASIK, I met with a laser eye specialist.
  • And for my knee scope, an orthopedist did the procedure.

If you need help on matters of divorce or child custody, see a top family lawyer. If you are trying to fix your finances for the long term, you may need to seek the advice of a great estate planning attorney.

AND if an immigration issue has appeared in your life, or in the life of someone you know or a loved one, you need an immigration lawyer.   


So if you are asking yourself,  “Do I Need an Immigration Lawyer?”  the answer is ” YES. THE BEST IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY YOU CAN FIND.”


Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

Do you have a question about Immigration in General?

Call us anytime at 973.642.1111 or email us using the form below.