What type of lawyer do I need?

Lawyers may specialize in different types of cases. The listing below is provided to help you choose which lawyer is right for you.


  • I want to adopt a child from another country.

Asylum and Protection

  • I need refuge from my country because I have been harmed or I fear being harmed because of race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
  • There is considerable social upheaval in my country, or my country has suffered a natural disaster, and it is not safe for me to return to my country at this time.

Business & Employment

  • I want to hire a worker who is in another country, or who is in the U.S. but from another country.
  • I want to get an H-1B visa or other type of temporary work visa.
  • I want to learn about labor certification and PERM.

Consular Processing

  • I want to apply for a permanent or temporary visa at a United States embassy or consulate abroad and need assistance with the application process.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

  • I am an undocumented foreign national and came to the United States before the age of sixteen.
  • I am currently attending school and/or have attended school in the United States or served in the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces.
  • I want to know if I am eligible for deferred action (DACA).

Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)

  • I am an undocumented foreign national with a child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • I want to know if I am eligible for deferred action (DAPA) as announced by President Obama in November 2014.


  • I am being deported from the U.S.
  • I have a family member being detained and/or being deported from the US.

Employer Sanctions

  • I am an employer, and I want to make sure I am doing the right things when I hire anyone to work for me.
  • I am an employer and the immigration service or the labor department has asked to inspect my employment records and files.


  • I want to bring family to the U.S. from another country.
  • I am marrying someone from another country and would like to bring him or her to the U.S.
  • I have married someone from another country and we want to get my spouse a green card.
  • I want to bring my fiancé/fiancée to the U.S. and get married.


  • I would like to talk to an immigration lawyer about immigration in general. I do not know what I want or need.
  • I want to come to the U.S. or stay in the U.S. legally but don’t know how to do it.
  • I need a green card.
  • I want to come to the U.S. as a tourist, or I’m here as a tourist and would like to stay longer.
  • I need to come to the U.S. for a short business trip.
  • I need an adjustment of status.
  • I have a medical condition, or a family member has a medical condition, and the best treatment is in the U.S. I want to come for that treatment, or my family member wants to come for that treatment.

Health Care Related Professionals

  • I am a foreign-training doctor, nurse or other health care professional. I would like to work or train in the U.S.


  • I want to start a business or invest in a business in the U.S.


  • I want to sue a federal agency because of my immigration case.


  • I want to become a U.S. citizen.
  • I am a U.S. citizen but the immigration service wants to take it away from me.

Students and Exchange Visitors

  • I am a student abroad and I want to come to the U.S. to study.
  • I am in the U.S. as an F-1 student or a J-1 student or exchange visitor and I want to learn more about my options or I have problems.


I am not able to adjust status (apply for a "green card") because:

  • I have a criminal conviction;
  • I was dishonest about a fact when applying for an immigration benefit;
  • I have a health condition that requires a waiver;
  • I was unlawfully in the United States for more than 180 days (6 months);
  • I have had a J-1 visa and I am subject to the 2 year foreign residence requirement;
  • or because of some other ground of inadmissibility.

If this list does not help you and you cannot decide what kind of lawyer you need, please contact our staff at ils@aila.org.