Before Your Appointment:
If you are seeking an appointment for an immigration consultation at NIJC, please first check our website to ensure that we are able to meet your immigration needs.
When you call to request an appointment, please keep in mind that we’re facing an extremely high demand and may not immediately be able to answer your call or offer an appointment. When possible, please call during the hours when our phone lines are open. The receptionist will help you set a consultation meeting appointment.
Having a consultation meeting is not a guarantee that we will be able to accept your case or that you will receive representation from NIJC. We do our best to represent as many people as possible, but our legal team can only accept a limited number of cases.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our appointments may be telephonic or in person. If you are scheduled for a telephonic consultation, please set aside about an hour in a quiet place to get the most out of your appointment.
As you prepare for your appointment, it will be useful for you to gather any papers you already have that might be important to your case. Remember, if you don’t have any of these documents, that is okay. You can still attend your appointment. Helpful documents you could bring with you include:
- Any form of identification you may have. This can include your driver’s license, ID card, your birth certificate, a passport from your home country, etc.
- Any paperwork you’ve received related to your immigration case. This can include Notices to Appear, expired visas, documents from any countries you may have passed through on your way to the United States, and so on.
- Any paperwork related to a criminal arrest or any encounter with law enforcement. In order to accurately assess your case, we need to know about any contact you’ve had with the criminal justice system in the United States. This means bringing any kind of arrest or court paperwork.
- Any paperwork related to a crime committed against you or a family member. If you or a family member have been the victim of a crime in the United States or your home country, bring any paperwork, police reports, or other documents related to it.
- You will likely need more documents if your case is accepted. Please expect the legal caseworker with whom you meet to request additional documents. Sometimes we will need to see more documents before we can offer a full legal assessment or accept a case. If you do not have a minimum level of documentation, we may not be able to commit to taking your case.
What to Expect During and After Your Appointment:
An NIJC staff member will go over the details of your case, and ask questions about your immigration needs, previous immigration cases you’ve gone through, and more. An initial consultation is not a guarantee of legal representation.
If NIJC accepts your case, we may connect you with one of our network of pro bono attorneys. These volunteer attorneys are trained and supported by NIJC. If your case is a type NIJC pro bono attorneys handle, we may place your case with them. If you are referred to a pro bono attorney, NIJC would still be overseeing your case and you would still be an NIJC client.
If your case is accepted by NIJC, either for representation by an NIJC attorney or accredited representative or by one of our pro bono attorney partners, you will be sent a retainer, which is a document that outlines your responsibilities as a client, and our responsibilities as your legal service provider.
After you return a signed retainer, your assigned representative will get in touch with you to discuss next steps in your case. If we are unable to take your case, we will provide you with a list of trusted legal service providers in the area with whom you may wish to consult.