Benefits of getting an immigration lawyer Utah.

Attoryney Greg Smith talking on mic

Immigration laws frequently change. The laws can be loosened or made to be stricter, depending on the political climate. Because the laws fluctuate with lawmakers’ preferences, the steps to become a citizen or legal resident in Utah can be a challenge. Immigration lawyer Utah can help clients navigate this process.

The Process Can Be Lengthy. It may take years before a person is able to secure his or her citizenship. Many times, immigration laws mandate how long a person must live and work in a country before he or she can apply for citizenship. That individual may even be required to pass a language and citizenship test to demonstrate his or her cultural proficiency. Even so, a person’s immigration attorney will remain by that person’s side and guide the client on how to pass these tests and prove that this person is worthy of citizenship.

Your attorney can also help you complete and submit all necessary applications, while your government agency usually will not and cannot. They are typically only allowed to offer generalized instructions on the completion of applications, which can make the process frustrating and unnecessarily difficult. This means valuable insights can fall between the cracks of what they can and cannot tell you. Another good thing to know is that they are in no way liable for any misinformation that might accidentally get passed on as the result of law modifications. By having someone ensure that the documents are done right at the onset of your case, you can minimize future delays.

Attorneys may be able to appeal denied applications. If a person’s application is denied, he or she may wish to file an appeal. That person’s lawyer can file the necessary paperwork and perhaps even halt the client’s being deported out of the country until the appeal has been decided. The appeal process might take several weeks or months; however, during that time, attorneys help their clients prepare for their appearances before the court.

Regardless of the outcome, Lawyers are there to Help. Whether a person’s application is denied or approved, the client’s immigration attorney is there to assist that person. Many times, people are confused about the best decisions to make. Their emotions may cloud their judgment. Attorneys help these individuals make the best decisions possible during the entire process.


At times you can be faced with immigration disputes, and this is the best time to have an immigration lawyer Utah by your side. This is because they are trained to have your best interests at hand, and know all the resources, both legal and otherwise, to help you through this trying time. In issues as important as citizenship, choosing the right support can make all the difference.

With immigration attorney Greg Smith & Associates in Salt Lake City, your case can be reviewed to see what type of benefits and assistance that you qualify for. This means that you have access to referrals that will help you through this process. You might even luck upon agencies or associations that assist in helping you get settled once your case has resolution.

You may also find that your immigration lawyer Utah knows of a better way for you to approach your circumstances. There might be other options in obtaining legal access that were overlooked. By staying constantly abreast of new additions and changes within immigration laws, your attorney is the best person to analyze your options.

Your safest bet at obtaining a successful resolution to your case is enlisting the assistance in someone who specializes in circumstances like yours. An immigration lawyer is trained to spot out the best avenue for your specific needs. Getting the right assistance during a difficult time often means obtaining the right results as well.


When you hire a good immigration attorney, you can make sure that you get the best legal advice from a person who knows everything and can help you follow everything according to the rules when you apply for citizenship in Utah. Even if you commit a violation, the attorneys can help you out in some way as they have the means and the right knowledge needed to defend you.

Even if the immigration lawyers guides you on everything you need to successfully migrate, you should still have the knowledge about the various rules and regulations so you are not fully dependent upon the lawyers. You should know what to do and what you shouldn’t. The immigration rules of the Utah are very strict and hiring a good lawyer can go a long way in getting your application approved for citizenship or immigrant status.


Reason No. 1: You do not know what to do with your legal matter

Legal matters can have long, unexpected, and unwanted consequences.

Get the information you need from a trusted and reliable source. Lawyers are expected to maintain professional standards involving competence and ethics. In Ontario, practicing lawyers are covered by professional liability insurance up to $1,000,000 or more.

Unless you know what you are doing or the matter is inconsequential, seeking legal advice from a professional will probably create the best value for your time and money. Avoid getting “free” legal advice from family or friends especially for matters that you deem important. First, they may cause more harm than good if they are not competent to provide such advice. Second, they may be biased or have a self-interest in the matter. Ironically, what many consider “free” are usually the ones that cost the most.

Some lawyers are better suited for your needs in terms of expertise, schedule, communication, and fees. Finding the right lawyer can be challenging, but whether you need one is probably the first decision you must make. Even if you do not get the solution to your legal matter right away, you are on the right track. A good lawyer should guide you with the process, lay out your options, and recommend your next steps. Moreover, such a lawyer is well connected and may refer you to another professional who is better able to meet your needs.


Reason No. 2: You do not have the time

Time is money or time is gold, so they say. Do you believe this? Of course!

Yes, you can spend your own time and do it yourself. There is no harm in trying if you know what you are doing (see Reason No. 1 above). However, specialists like lawyers are expected to do their job much better and a lot faster. Consider how that will translate to cost savings for you. They say practice makes perfect and anyone doing something repeatedly will naturally become proficient at it. Lawyers become experts in legal matters through years of education, training, and experience.

If you would rather spend your time doing something else, then hiring a professional is the right choice. Spend your time doing what you do best and let lawyers do what they do best. Does this make sense? We think it does! While lawyers charge at an hourly rate much higher than the minimum wage, the value of their service is usually more than its cost. In fact, some highly rated lawyers deliver value many times over what they charge. What this mean is that in some cases, the lawyers that cost more are the ones who can deliver more value. Consider what you will gain compared to what it will cost.

As with making any decision, be adequately informed before making one. As mentioned above, there are lawyers better suited to your needs than others. Find the right one for you to get the most out of your time and money. Do not get intimidated by the initial cost. Instead, try to understand you will get out of it. Do your searches and ask the right questions.

More experienced lawyers are expected to charge higher hourly rates for good reasons. Such lawyers are relatively in high-demand which allows them to increase their rates. As you can imagine, a lawyer’s availability in terms of time is limited. Hence, lawyers whose services are highly sought after will tend to charge higher fees so that their time will be devoted only to serious clients who recognize their value.


Reason No. 3: Your judgement is clouded

There are matters better left to be handled by someone else even if you have the knowledge and the time for them. This applies if you are emotionally attached to the matter at hand because it will affect your judgment. Worse, the matter can lead to anxiety and leave you emotionally drained. Examples are those involving sensitive family law matters, civil litigation and criminal charges.

The best judgments are usually made with reasons and not emotions. This holds true in complex or complicated situations including legal settings. This is where professionals such as lawyers can reach their true potential. They can set aside their personal view and handle the matter objectively to get optimal results.

Believe me when I say that even lawyers sometimes need other lawyers.



Do-it-yourself (DIY) is made available to the masses in this age of information which is a good thing. Social media, crowdsourcing, and highly efficient search engines allow anyone to obtain the right information at the right time at a minimal cost. Nothing can be better than that.

However, there are times when things are better left to the professionals. For some legal matters, the first step is usually to decide whether you need to hire a lawyer. As with almost everything else, there are trade-offs to your decisions and only you can know which is best for you. If any of the 3 reasons apply to you, strongly consider getting help from a lawyer. Depending on a lawyer’s policy, you may or may not be charged for the initial consultation.

How Immigration Lawyers Can Assist Your Family with Immigration Procedures

U.S. immigration laws can be fairly complex, and hiring an immigration lawyer can help your family deal with immigration issues or legal trouble and save you time and money.

An immigration attorney is a private practitioner who provides immigration legal services to individuals interested in getting a green card, family visas, work visas, or students visas, and they aren’t connected to U.S. immigration offices like the Department of State, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of Homeland Security. They deal with various issues relating to green cards, U.S. citizenship, immigration visas, and other U.S. immigration processes.

U.S. immigration laws are established by the federal government. Anyone who will be allowed to enter the U.S. or how long anyone can stay is determined by these rules. If a foreign national wishes to undergo the naturalization process to become a legal immigrant and become a U.S. citizen, or if they’re facing legal issues regarding their immigration status, they must be familiar with the provisions of these laws.

Seeking legal advice from immigration experts who are up-to-date with immigration news and laws is your best bet when facing legal immigration issues. A UTAH Immigration and family law attorney can help you understand the legal immigration process and make sure that your visa application goes smoothly.

How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

There are different ways an immigrant lawyer can help immigrant families. In this article, we have provided you with three ways that Durham immigration lawyers can help.

1. Properly Explain the Immigration Process

Usually, new immigrants encounter problems such as deportation, overstaying, illegal entry, or even losing legal status because there are issues with the immigrant visas or visa application process they’ve chosen. A legal counsel that knows the process of immigration and the different immigration offices can help make your application a success.

The Department of Homeland Security have different federal agencies that are in charge of administrating different immigration laws and immigration policy :

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – monitors cross-border crimes and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the largest federal law enforcement agency that is focused on border control and security

2. Assess the Right Type of Visa for You

Immigration ProceduresAn immigration attorney can guide you when choosing the type of visa or adjustment of status that is appropriate for your situation. The different types of U.S. visas are:

  • Immigrant visa – issued to foreign nationals who intend to live permanently in the United States
  • Non-immigrant visa – issued to foreign nationals wishing to enter the United States temporarily – for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, study, or other similar reasons
  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – enables foreign nationals from 38 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. A VWP can’t be used to apply for a student visa or work visa or to apply for a green card to become a lawful permanent resident

3. Assist You in Your Green Card Application

Aside from giving you immigration advice and helping you get familiar with the immigration process, experienced immigration attorneys can also assist you in preparing and submitting your application for family immigration and give you legal representation in an immigration court.

If you have plans of applying for family-based immigration, you’d have to submit your application and other supporting documents to the U.S. federal government. Immigration law can be complicated, and seeking the help of immigration law firms that specialize in immigration, such as Diener Law, can help you in your application.

How a UTAH Immigration and family law attorney Can Help

The immigration process can be very long and confusing. That is why it’s important to seek the immigration assistance of a highly-skilled attorney who specializes in immigration laws and procedures such as employment-based visas, obtaining a green card, or petition for alien relatives.

Our family immigration lawyers are here to help. If you’re an immigrant who needs legal assistance for yourself and your family or if you have immigration questions, consult with our UTAH Immigration and family law attorney today.

Benefits of Hiring a Family Lawyer

family lawyer

A family lawyer helps to handle various matters that surround both familial and domestic issues. In a situation where you are experiencing disputes with your partner, guardianship, child custody, and divorce, you need to look for a professional family lawyer. However, with various law firms, you are likely to receive, you might find it challenging to come up with the required decision.

When you decide to hire a family law attorney, you need to ensure that you know the recommended tips you need to consider. If you are well-updated with the latest law info, it will be easy to make the right choice. You need to understand that a competent and professional family lawyer will offer essential choices concerning your cases. By hiring a certified family lawyer, here are the benefits you will get.

Get Knowledge of Family Law

One of the main reasons most parents and spouses go for family law attorneys is to receive the right knowledge about family law. When you have the right understanding of family law, it will help you make significant differences in your case.

It is crucial to understand that experienced family lawyers have the law, and they know various aspects they can use to help you win their case. Remember that without proper legal advice of a trained and skilled lawyer, you might end up being misrepresented and you might not win your case.


Lowering the High Stakes

It is vital to note that most family lawsuits and court cases involve high stakes. In this case, if you do not know much about the law, then chances are that you might lose. But when you hire an experienced family attorney, you will get an opportunity to lower your stakes and follow the recommended judicial procedures to ensure you win in your case.

Receive Emotional Support

When facing cases involving child custody and divorce, you will find out that emotions are high and you might feel stressed during the case hearing. That is why you need to hire a professional family lawyer to offer you the emotional support you need. With the services you will receive from these experts, you will end up winning your case.

Understand Legal Procedures

It is crucial to understand that different states have unique procedures relating to family issues. In this case, it is your responsibility to ensure you know these procedures. However, working with an experienced family attorney will help you understand these procedures properly.

4 Good Reasons to Hire a Family Lawyer

10 Questions to Ask a Family Court Lawyer Before Hiring

Divorce, Child Support, Child Custody, and Alimony (also called spousal Maintenance) are daunting cases for everyone who has to face them. The stress and anxiety that comes with these cases are enough to make you feel defeated before you even begin. Families do have issues, and some are severe enough to require the help of a legal professional. Divorce and custody disputes are not as simple as you may think as there can be risks that can be associated with proceeding family law cases without an attorney. Many people do not hire a family attorney just to save money or due to the assumption that they can handle such a case themselves.

Here is a summary of the reasons why working with a legal professional in a family law case is in your best interest.

Legal Advocacy and Protection:

A family lawyer is well aware of the family laws and the outcomes of similar past cases. Therefore, he can use his that knowledge and experience to get the best possible outcomes for you. He knows to present your case in the court so that the judge will see your side. Of course, you do not have any experience or legal knowledge to fall back on. Especially if the other party is represented by an attorney, it’s easier to take advantage of the lack of legal knowledge. A family attorney guides you about realistic and unrealistic threats, and how to protect your rights.

Proper Filing of Paperwork:

Numerous documents need to be filed and signed during a family law case such as divorce. If you do not have any law experience, you become overwhelmed while trying to make sure every document is submitted properly. The judge has the option to exclude any or all of the documents that are not drafted correctly. By hiring a family lawyer Toronto, you can rest assured that your paperwork is done properly, including drafting, filing, and submitting documents while meeting the time restrictions.

Settle the Child Custody Dispute:

The most complex and stressful part of a divorce case is the war between the divorcing parents to have sole physical custody of their kids. A family attorney will work in your best interests to meet your desire of having sole guardianship right. Generally, the family courts allow shared custody while legal custody may be mutual or sole. Therefore, it’s recommended for couples not to be arrogant on custody issues because there is no way you can achieve the sole custody of your children unless there is solid evidence to prove that the counterparty is unfit to have custody right, e.g. mental illness, addiction, or abusiveness. Your efforts to prove your supremacy of being the best parent for your child’s development and safety and can go against your interest and a lawyer is the one who guides you regarding these potential consequences.

Make Your Spouse Pay Spousal/Child Support:

The issues regarding violation of divorce agreement such as skipping, stopping or denial to pay child support money are common among ex-spouses. Child or Spousal support is the maintenance money an obliged parent has to pay the ex-spouse as per instruction of the court. A family lawyer can help you to resolve the issue if the other parent is not paying the child support money. If you are the obliged person and not able to pay the money due to a financial loss, a family lawyer will help to apply for lessening the support money.


What is Family Law?

Family law is a legal practice area that focuses on issues involving family relationships such as marriage, adoption, divorce, and child custody, among others. Attorneys practicing family law can represent clients in family court proceedings or in related negotiations. They can also draft important legal documents such as court petitions or property agreements.

Some family law attorneys even specialize in adoption, paternity, emancipation, or other matters not usually related to divorce. The matter of family encompasses so many life aspects. Lawyers in the field, therefore, help all kinds of people facing all kinds of sensitive issues that many people wouldn’t immediately assume go under the family law umbrella.

The following is a primer on family law and what it entails.

Helpful Terms to Know

  • Emancipation: A court process through which a minor becomes self-supporting, assumes adult responsibility for their personal welfare, and is no longer under the care of their parents.
  • Marital Property: Property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage that is subject to division upon divorce.
  • Alimony: An allowance made to one spouse by the other for support during or after a legal separation or divorce.
  • Paternity: Origin or descent from a father (to establish paternity is to confirm the identity of a child’s biological father).
  • Prenuptial Agreement: An agreement made between a man and a woman before marrying in which they give up future rights to each other’s property in the event of a divorce or death.

Reasons to Hire a Family Law Attorney

Most family lawyers represent clients in divorce proceedings and other matters related to divorce. But family law is a relatively broad practice area, including such issues as foster care and reproductive rights. Since family law matters hit so close to home, having a trusted legal professional by your side can help you ensure your loved ones are properly represented and protected during any legal process.

The most common reasons to hire a family law attorney include:

  • Divorce: Each partner hires their own attorney, who will help devise a settlement plan in order to avoid a trial. Divorce attorneys typically are skilled at dividing marital property, calculating spousal support, and proposing a plan for child custody, visitation, and support (if applicable).
  • Child Custody / Child Support: Court orders and settlement agreements involving both custody and support usually are included in the larger divorce case, but maybe revisited as conditions change. For instance, child support may be altered after the non-custodial parent’s financial situation changes.
  • Paternity: In most cases, paternity cases are filed by the mother in an effort to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity in order to have a relationship with their child. Paternity typically is determined through DNA testing.
  • Adoption / Foster Care: Adoption is a complex process that differs according to the type of adoption, where the child is from, variances in state laws, and other factors. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney. Foster parents sometimes adopt their foster children, but the foster process does not necessarily require legal representation.

Related Practice Areas

Family law often intersects with a wide range of other legal practice areas. For example, instances of domestic violence and child abuse typically involve criminal investigations (and may result in arrests and charges). Along with that process, family courts are tasked with determining how to best protect the victims and ensure a relatively safe environment for those involved. Other related legal practice areas include the following:

Marriage and Divorce Laws Vary by State

States have the right to determine “reasonable formal requirements” for marriage, including age and legal capacity, as well as the rules and procedures for divorce and other family law matters.

The timeframe of the divorce process, for example, depends on location. Some states have divorce laws that require a waiting period. Same-sex marriage has historically been a state matter. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, some states restricted marriage (and divorce) to opposite-sex couples only.

Need Help With a Family Law Matter? Talk to a Professional

Whether you’re in the process of a divorce, need help with an adoption, or have questions about enforcing a child support order, it’s often in your best interests to work with an attorney. Get the help you need by contacting an experienced family law attorney near you.

Family Law Explored – What are the Different Types of Family Law?

What are the Different Types of Family Law?

About a week ago, after hanging up the phone with my 17-year-old, I realized that I probably needed a lawyer. However, I had no idea what kind of lawyer I needed to find. So I got on the computer, called a few numbers, and was finally told I needed someone who specializes in family law. But what exactly is family law?

Family law is an area of law that focuses on anything to do with members of a family, such as marriage, divorce, child custody, adoptions, and more. It can also be referred to as matrimonial law or the law of domestic relations. Family law is considered a civil case –– a case that involves some type of conflict between people or institutions. Family lawyers have chosen the family law area of concentration and possess a wide range of skills in order to negotiate any situation you may encounter.

hat are the Types of Family Law?

There are many types of cases covered in family law but the most common cases that are seen in courts every day are:

  • Marriage Dissolution – this can involve divorce or annulment. The court can also grant a legal separation and give orders concerning property, child custody, and alimony.
  • Paternity and Child Custody – the court determines the paternity of a child so that it is legally and permanently established, and then they determine custody, visitation schedules, and child support.
  • Protection Orders Against Domestic Violence – victims of domestic violence request the family court to issue a restraining order against their abuser. This order sets certain conditions that prevent the abuser from harassing or abusing the victim again.
  • Name Changes – a child or adult can legally change their name. I did this many years ago but had no idea I was dealing with family court.
  • Guardianship – family court helps decide who will be responsible for a child or adult who isn’t legally able to make their own decisions. The appointed guardian will make medical, financial, and personal decisions for the family member.
  • Termination of Parental Rights and Adoptions – if parents can no longer care for their child because of abuse, neglect, or illness, the court can terminate their rights as a parent. The child can then be adopted by someone else or appointed a legal guardian.
  • Juvenile Matters – covers issues like abuse and neglect and any situation where a minor is accused of engaging in illegal behavior.
  • Emancipation and Approval of Underage Marriages – involves a minor requesting the court’s approval to be treated as a legal-aged adult and no longer under the authority of their parents.

As a former foster parent and an adoptive mom, I have dealt with many of the situations listed above. Yet I never knew they were considered family law.

While fostering older children with serious struggles, I have had some children bring up the idea of emancipation and I even had a request to be allowed to marry. As I searched out what family law was, I discovered that even though a family attorney needs to be well-versed in all aspects of family law, some choose to specialize in a particular arena such as adoption, emancipation, and even international custody law.

What Skills does a Family Attorney Need to be Successful?

Because family lawyers deal with so many components to a case that can also be highly emotional, they must develop different skills to do their job effectively.

First, they need to have good litigation and negotiation skills. Litigation refers to the entire process of contesting and resolving disputes between two parties. With negotiation, the family lawyer needs to be able to help both parties come to an agreement where all members are satisfied with the results.

They also need to have good time-management skills. They must know how to effectively prioritize their schedule as there are often many interruptions throughout the day when dealing with emotionally stressed-out family members desperate for help. They could be dealing with a dad about to lose his child or a wife who is trying to escape a violent husband. For this reason, it is also good to possess counseling skills.

Another skill they need to have knowledge about is accounting and financial matters. These situations usually come up in court when discussing things like wills, reviewing property and assets, and helping with estate planning.

Related: Is Family Law a Good Career? Pros and Cons…

What Should you Look for When Choosing a Family Lawyer?

If you’re looking to hire a family attorney, it is important to make sure you choose the right person to represent you and your family. You want someone you can trust, who seems to really listen to your situation and take what you say seriously.

I have been in a few potentially dangerous situations that didn’t involve a lawyer but a state professional, and they seemed to downplay the seriousness of the problem. If you are trying to keep an abusive spouse from your children or some other serious concern, you want to be sure you are heard and believed. Your lawyer is your partner in the case, and you are a team. Make sure you can fully trust and rely on the person fighting on your behalf.

Before Retaining a Lawyer, Ask Questions

The person you are hiring is representing your family and your life. For this reason, it is a good idea to write out a list of questions before you meet with your prospective attorney and watch and listen to the responses you get. If you don’t feel comfortable with this person, search out another. Always trust your instincts.

Here is a partial list of questions you may want to ask.

  • What do you think about my case? Do you think we can win?
  • How much do I pay to retain you as my lawyer?
  • How much do you charge per hour, and what does that include?
  • Will there be any extra charges such as travel expenses or making copies?
  • How long have you been practicing this type of law, and are you a certified “family law specialist?”
  • How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
  • How long do you take to return phone calls?
  • Will anyone else be working on my case with you? If so, can I meet them? Will I be charged for the time I spend with them?
  • What other costs could be involved, and how will you charge me for those extra services? (sometimes other professionals may be needed as consultants such as physicians and psychologists, private investigators, or forensic accountants.)

As you can see, family law encompasses a wide range of situations, some of which you wouldn’t even assume fall under the umbrella of family law. Below I’ve listed four cases that are anything but typical. You don’t usually hear of situations like these. But as society progresses, laws and circumstances change. A family lawyer needs to be up to date with the changing times.

Four Custody Cases that Represent the Changing Times

  • In 2015, attorney Susan Bender handled a custody dispute involving four parents who wanted custody of a child they shared. One member of the gay couple donated his sperm to another member of the lesbian couple with the intent of passing the child between the two families. This arrangement lasted only nine months and then fell apart, leaving all parties desiring custody.
  • In 2008 there was a custody case that involved a couple from New Zealand who named their little girl Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii.” Yep. That was the poor child’s name. As she grew, she called herself “K” to avoid being teased by peers. The judge settled the custody issue by removing the child from both parents and allowing her to choose another name that wouldn’t embarrass her forever.
  • This custody case involved murder. In 1991, John Kushing wanted to divorce his wife, Kristine. Distraught over the impending divorce, Kristine shot and killed their two daughters and then attempted suicide. She was found not guilty and remanded to a mental facility, and John, moving on with his life, remarried. He and his new wife had two sons. However, this marriage didn’t last, and so the couple divorced and divided the boys between the two of them, each sharing custody of both boys, but one lived with the mother and the other with John.

Eventually, Kristine (the first wife) was released from the mental hospital, and she and John got back together. This case ended up in family court when John’s second ex-wife sued for full custody of both boys because she did not want them living with a child murderer. However, the judge ruled in favor of John and Kristine.

  • Another strange case involving custody concerned three children who sided with their mother, alleging that she was a victim of domestic abuse by their father. However, this Michigan judge didn’t believe them. So she continually urged the kids to bond with him, but they refused.

Finally, the judge ordered the children to have lunch with their father, and when they defied her orders, she held them in contempt of court and ordered them to be remanded in juvenile detention.

After reading the cases above, you can see how complicated family law can be. If you have a problem that you believe fits into any of the types of family law listed in this post, hopefully, you have obtained enough knowledge to find the right attorney for your case.

How immigration has changed the world – for the better

Is immigration good or bad? Some argue that immigrants flood across borders, steal jobs, are a burden on taxpayers, and threaten indigenous culture. Others say the opposite: that immigration boosts economic growth, meets skill shortages and helps create a more dynamic society.

The evidence clearly shows that immigrants provide significant economic benefits. However, there are local and short-term economic and social costs. As with debates on trade, where protectionist instincts tend to overwhelm the longer-term need for more open societies, the core role that immigrants play in economic development is often overwhelmed by defensive measures to keep immigrants out. A solution needs to be found through policies that allow the benefits to compensate for the losses.

Around the world, there are an estimated 230 million migrants, making up about 3% of the global population. This share has not changed much in the past 100 years. But as the world’s population has quadrupled, so too has the number of migrants. And since the early 1900s, the number of countries has increased from 50 to over 200. More borders mean more migrants.

Of the global annual flow of around 15 million migrants, most fit into one of four categories: economic (6 million), student (4 million), family (2 million), and refugee/asylum (3 million). There are about 20 million officially recognized refugees worldwide, with 86% of them hosted by neighboring countries, up from 70% 10 years ago.

In the US, over a third of documented immigrants are skilled. Similar trends exist in Europe. These percentages reflect the needs of those economies. Governments that are more open to immigration assist their country’s businesses, which become more agile, adaptive, and profitable in the war for talent. Governments in turn receive more revenue and citizens thrive on the dynamism that highly-skilled migrants bring.

Yet it is not only higher-skilled migrants who are vital. In the USA and elsewhere, unskilled immigrants are an essential part of the construction, agriculture, and services sector.

If immigrants play such a vital role, why is there so much concern?

Some believe that immigrants take jobs and destroy economies. Evidence proves this wrong. In the United States, immigrants have been founders of companies such as Google, Intel, PayPal, eBay, and Yahoo! In fact, skilled immigrants account for over half of Silicon Valley start-ups and over half of patents, even though they make up less than 15% of the population. There have been three times as many immigrant Nobel Laureates, National Academy of Science members, and Academy Award film directors as the immigrant share of the population would predict. Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco concluded that “immigrants expand the economy’s productive capacity by stimulating investment and promoting specialization, which produces efficiency gains and boosts income per worker”.

Research on the net fiscal impact of immigration shows that immigrants contribute significantly more in taxes than the benefits and services they receive in return. According to the World Bank, increasing immigration by a margin equal to 3% of the workforce in developed countries would generate global economic gains of $356 billion. Some economists predict that if borders were completely open and workers were allowed to go where they pleased, it would produce gains as high as $39 trillion for the world economy over 25 years.

In the future, it will become even more imperative to ensure a strong labor supply augmented by foreign workers. Globally, the population is aging. There were only 14 million people over the age of 80 living in 1950. There are well over 100 million today and current projections indicate there will be nearly 400 million people over 80 by 2050. With fertility collapsing to below replacement levels in all regions except Africa, experts are predicting rapidly rising dependency ratios and a decline in the OECD workforce from around 800 million to close to 600 million by 2050. The problem is particularly acute in North America, Europe, and Japan.

There are, however, legitimate concerns about large-scale migration. The possibility of social dislocation is real. Just like globalization – a strong force for good in the world – the positive aspects are diffuse and often intangible, while the negative aspects bite hard for a small group of people.

Yes, those negative aspects must be managed. But that management must come with the recognition that migration has always been one of the most important drivers of human progress and dynamism. Immigration is good. And in the age of globalization, barriers to migration pose a threat to economic growth and sustainability. Free migration, like totally free trade, remains a utopian prospect, even though within regions (such as Europe) this has proved workable.

As John Stuart Mill forcefully argued, we need to ensure that the local and short-term social costs of immigration do not detract from their role “as one of the primary sources of progress”.

The Advantages of Family-Based Immigration

The Advantages of Family-Based Immigration | American Immigration Council

Since the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1965, legal immigration to the United States has been based primarily on the family ties or the work skills of prospective immigrants. Under the provisions of current immigration law, the family-based immigration category allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or “green card” holders, to bring certain family members to the United States. There are 480,000 family-based visas available every year. Family-based immigrants are admitted to the U.S. either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.

The contributions of family-based immigrants to the U.S. economy, local communities, and the national fabric are manifold. They account for a significant portion of domestic economic growth, contribute to the well-being of the current and future labor force, play a key role in business development and community improvement, and are among the most upwardly mobile segments of the labor force. This fact sheet provides an overview of the economic and social advantages associated with family-based immigration. In particular, it highlights the direct benefits resulting from the participation of family-based immigrants in the labor force, their contributions to the community, and the key—yet often underestimated—the value of the unpaid care work provided by immigrant women.

1. Families are crucial to the social and economic incorporation of newcomers.

Because of the overall lack of explicit public policies for the integration of new immigrants, families and ethnic communities have traditionally acted, together with the workplace, as powerful integrating institutions. In particular, ethnic communities and families operate as sources of critical resources for newcomers, including opportunities for employment, access to credit, and different kinds of support. In other words, when newcomers arrive on a family-based visa, they have resources readily available to help them navigate the system and become employed or start their own businesses.

2. Family-based immigration has a positive impact on business development and community improvement.

Family ties facilitate the formation of immigrant communities which, in turn, offer a fertile environment for the development of businesses. In this regard, “case-study evidence finds that extended immigrant families and close-knit immigrant communities ease the economic assimilation of new immigrants and promote investment in U.S. human capital as well as the formation of businesses.”

Many of the most outstanding high technology firms have been created by foreign-born entrepreneurs. In Silicon Valley, an icon of high-tech innovation, more than half of new companies were started by immigrants, many of whom came to the country on family-based visas. As Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) asserted during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, “I often say I am glad that Google is in Mountain View rather than Moscow. Like eBay, Intel, and Yahoo!, Google was founded by an immigrant. But it’s worth noting that none of the founders of these companies came to the U.S. because of their skills.”

Because they recognize the value that immigrant families may have in the revitalization of rundown neighborhoods, local governments in several cities—including BaltimoreBostonDetroit, and Dayton—have launched programs designed to attract immigrants and promote their economic potential. In fact, so-called “ethnic neighborhoods” (e.g., Little Italy, Chinatown) have long been used in revitalization strategies in most major American cities.The Advantages of Family-Based Immigration

3. Immigrants who come to the country on a family-based visa tend to move up the socio-economic ladder.

The initial differences in earnings between family-based and employment-based immigrants tend to narrow dramatically over time. Despite concerns about the supposedly lower productivity of kinship-based immigrants in the U.S. labor market, it has been shown that “nonoccupation-based immigration, most of which is family-based, is associated with lower entry earnings but higher earnings growth than occupation-based immigration. The higher estimated earnings growth is sufficient for nonoccupation-based immigrants to catch up with occupationally admitted immigrants after eleven to eighteen years in the United States.”

New immigrants—the majority of whom enter the United States on family visas—have become the most upwardly mobile of American workers. This is explained by their high rates of post-immigration human capital investment. This benefits not only immigrants but also the economy at large.

4. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens who immigrate under the family fourth-preference visa category tend to experience high rates of self-employment and high earnings growth.

Empirical research on the economic benefits of immigrants admitted as siblings of U.S. citizens has shown that there are not only humanitarian but economic reasons to keep this category. In particular, fourth-preference admissions are positively associated with immigrant self-employment. Immigrants who are admitted as siblings of U.S. citizens tend also to have higher initial earnings than family-admitted immigrants in general. In addition, immigrant groups with higher fourth-preference admissions appear to experience higher earnings growth over time. These results further suggest that any proposal to remove the sibling admission category would be counter-productive.

5. Family admissions are critical for the “care economy,” which is fundamental for the well-being of household members, helps sustain the current and future workforce, and facilitates women’s labor force participation.

  • Unpaid health and child care provided in the household largely by immigrant women contribute to the physical, cognitive, and emotional development of household members. Those contributions are instrumental not only to individual well-being but also to the human development of the country.
  • Because unpaid household and community activities are performed outside the market, they are largely invisible in economic statistics. Groups such as the Pan American Health Organization and the International Labour Organization have highlighted the importance of recognizing the role of unpaid work in the household and the community.
  • Immigrant women who perform their work in the domestic sphere help sustain the current workforce, raise the future workforce, care for the elderly and sick, and play a critical role in household well-being. Their contributions to the economy are, therefore, not only immediate but will be felt in the future.
  • The economic value of unpaid work performed by immigrants represents a very large portion of the gross domestic product. In particular, “the statistics on time use in different countries suggest that unpaid work contributes to well-being, human capacity building, and long‑term economic growth while accounting for the highest number of working hours, which may represent over 50 percent of the gross domestic product.”
  • Immigrant women’s participation in the labor force is facilitated by the presence in the home of other relatives. In other words, when other family members (such as parents or siblings) can take care of everyday household needs, women are more likely to participate in the labor market. Family-admitted immigrants who can provide care for the children or the elderly at home are, therefore, valuable asset for women who work for a salary.

Moving away from the false “brain versus blood” dichotomy

Family and skill-based immigration should not be viewed as mutually exclusive. In fact, if a less family-friendly admission policy were to be adopted, the United States might become less attractive to highly skilled immigrants, who also have families. As economist Harriet Duleep has noted:

“Family visas are…an important complement to high-skilled visas; skilled immigrants have families too. In considering which country to move to, will an emigrating scientist be more likely to move to a country where his family members, including siblings, parents, and adult children, can also live, or to a country where only certain family members are welcome? Would Einstein have continued to live in the U.S. had he not been able to bring over his sister Maja? A family-friendly policy may be one reason the U.S. has been able to attract immigrants with stellar qualifications.”

The concept of family reunification is deeply rooted in American values. However, the positive implications of family-based immigration are not only humanitarian but also economic.


You’re facing divorce and it feels like your world is upside down. Your financial future’s at stake and if you have children, so is your future with them. The last thing you need is a divorce attorney who’s more interested in profit than your best interest.

A How-To Checklist for Hiring a Divorce Attorney in Connecticut

Determining whether your attorney is trustworthy can be difficult, especially at the outset, because you’ve never been through a divorce before and you don’t know what to expect.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. There are some steps you can take and questions you can ask to assess whether a particular divorce attorney is someone you can actually trust.

1. Research the attorney online

There’s a wealth of information online about attorneys. It’s more difficult than ever to inconspicuously provide poor quality service. That’s because anyone after a miserable experience can hop online and warn their fellow consumers through reviews.

If the attorney’s a fraud, or maybe pretty sound at practicing law, but delivers terrible service, chances are people will post negative reviews about it. Google the lawyer’s name followed by “lawyer reviews” and you’ll see a number of directories on which people who have used the attorney may have left some feedback.

You can also ask around. Word of mouth is important on both ends of the spectrum: for positive and negative information. You may be able to contact someone who’s used the attorney.

Take advantage of the fact that it’s easier than ever to obtain information from third parties about the attorney. Consider that information carefully before making a decision.

2. Beware of being pressured to sign up.

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Attorney’s should have your best interest as a priority. It’s not in your best interest to be pressured into hiring an attorney. If it feels like the attorney is a little too desperate to sign up for you, that’s a red flag. Of course, there are some cases in which time is of the essence and it’s the attorney’s obligation to inform you of that.

But that’s not what we’re talking about here. You know that feeling when the person trying to sell you something is pushing instead of educating? If you get that sense, step back and don’t make a rash decision.

3. If the attorney is encouraging you to make emotion-based decisions, run!

Divorce can be difficult. And of course, it’s not uncommon for emotions to run high. However, if the attorney is using your emotions to try to convince you to take certain steps in the case that are not grounded in sound logic and reason, that’s a sign the attorney is more interested in your money than your interests.

One way to put yourself in a better position to detect this is to educate yourself on divorce at the outset. No need to go into this blind. There’s a wealth of information online about divorce. Learn about it. Ask a lot of questions.

Also, if the attorney’s taking the case in a direction that doesn’t feel right, you can consult with another attorney. Sometimes having another professional re-assess a case for you can shed some light on an issue. And it may give you the information you need to determine if your attorney’s leading you astray.

4. Don’t tolerate poor communication.

Tips to Help You Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer in Connecticut

The fact that many attorneys are poor at communication is a running joke. You leave a message and no one gets back to you for a couple of weeks because the lawyer’s “busy.” Nonsense! Poor communication results in information falling through the cracks, which compromises the lawyer’s ability to represent you effectively. Your information, goals, priorities are all lost in the shuffle if there isn’t a good client communication system in place at the firm.

It’s particularly troublesome when the communication is poor at the outset of the representation. If they’re not paying attention to you now, what makes you think things will get better going forward?

5. Be wary of attorneys that make no effort to compromise.

There’s generally give and take in divorce. Of course, the attorney should be looking out for your best interest and fighting to get you the best result.

But if the attorney has no flexibility and is making no effort to resolve the case, it may be that the attorney’s priority is making some extra money. Generally, if the case is resolved efficiently, the divorce lawyer is paid less. If your attorney is prolonging the case with no good explanation, you need to be asking more questions.

Attorneys have different styles and different personalities (they’re people too!). So understand that not everything about the lawyer or the firm will necessarily be perfect. However, if you keep in mind the principles above, you’ll be well on your way to sniffing out a fraud. Divorce can be expensive. If you hire someone who’s putting your interests on the back burner, it can be even more expensive, and frustrating.

Contact us for more information.

When You Really Need an Immigration Lawyer

Are you looking for someone to take your side in matters concerning immigrating to the United States or avoiding deportation from the country? An immigration lawyer is an independent practitioner (unconnected to the U.S. immigration authorities) who helps clients deal with a wide range of issues relating to visas, green cards, U.S. citizenship, and other immigration benefits.

The Top 6 Reasons Why You Need To Hire An Immigration Lawyer - Business  Partner Magazine

When Don’t You Need an Immigration Lawyer?

Not all immigration issues require consultation with an immigration lawyer. For example, if you merely wish to visit the United States for a vacation, and are sure you will be ready to return in 90 days, you might not require any visa at all, but could (if you’re from one of the countries on the list) travel on the Visa Waiver Program.

However, U.S. immigration law is incredibly complex. In many cases, hiring an attorney can save you time, aggravation, and even money (in cases where you might have to redo an application done incorrectly the first time or defend yourself in removal proceedings after an application goes seriously wrong).

When You Do Need to Call an Immigration Lawyer

You will definitely want to consult with an attorney who practices immigration law if:

  • you are uncertain about your basic eligibility for a green card or another immigration benefit
  • you have received government assistance while living in the U.S. or are concerned that you might be inadmissible for some other reason
  • you are requesting any sort of discretionary relief, such as asylum or a waiver, which involves persuading the immigration authorities to make an exception or offer you benefits that it might not ordinarily offer to another applicant in your position
  • you are finding it difficult to obtain a USCIS green card, citizenship, or another immigration benefit; perhaps you have been asked to supply additional evidence
  • you need emergency help with an immigration matter
  • you have been notified that deportation or removal proceedings are being started against you
  • you have been deported from the U.S. and wish to apply to return
  • you have had an immigration application refused or denied in the past
  • you have been convicted of a criminal offense or have committed a criminal offense and are trying to enter the U.S. or protect yourself from removal from the U.S.
  • you are planning to move to the U.S. to work for a U.S. employer and it has not assisted you with the immigration process
  • you have looked into the application process and realized that the number of forms and documents you must prepare is either too confusing or time-consuming to deal with on your own, or
  • you are applying for an investment-based visa.

These are just some of the reasons why you might choose to consult with an immigration lawyer. There are others!

How to Choose the Right Lawyer for Your Immigration Case

You will probably want to meet with more than one attorney before choosing one to represent you. You want someone who is experienced in the type of case you have; many immigration lawyers specialize, for example in business immigration matters, deportation, or asylum. See How to Find an Excellent Immigration Lawyer for tips.

U.S. immigration law is federal, or nationwide, which means that you can get help from a lawyer in any U.S. state, even if you are currently living in another country.

What to Expect at the Initial Meeting With a Lawyer

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Most immigration lawyers will charge a flat fee (often around $100) to meet with you and talk over whether and how the lawyer could if you hired him or her, help you out. A few offer a free first consultation.

Bring along any personal documents that relate to your immigration situation, such as your passport, visa(s), I-94, marriage certificate, records of criminal convictions, and any notices from immigration authorities.

The lawyer is likely to ask a number of questions and take notes, and will then advise you as to how you should proceed, and whether there are any further documents that need to be produced or applied for.

Many immigration lawyers offer a flat-fee structure for standard types of cases, such as help with an application for a marriage-based green card. However, for less predictable types of legal services, such as representation for an immigration court hearing (which could turn into several hearings), the lawyer is more likely to charge you at an hourly rate.

When Do You Need an Immigration Attorney - Magz Lifestyle

This meeting is your chance to tell the attorney your circumstances and to ask questions. Give the attorney as much information as possible, so as to avoid mistakes in strategy or unpleasant surprises later. The attorney is duty-bound to keep your information confidential. Realize, however, that the attorney’s role does not include lying on behalf of a client. If, for example, someone tells an attorney, “I need help preparing paperwork for my fake, green-card marriage,” the attorney (assuming he or she is reputable, some are not) will have to tell the client to go elsewhere for help.