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Lawyer wants $500 to release documents prior to filling N400

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  • Lawyer wants $500 to release documents prior to filling N400

    Hi,

    I am going to be eligible to filling my N400 form in a few months. The first time I applied for a green card through marriage and removing the conditions I used the same lawyer and they charged me $2000 each time. My case seems pretty straight forward and after talking to a few friends who have gone through the same I have decided to forego the lawyer and do it on my own. I asked my lawyer for a copy of my file so I can make sure everything matches up but she told me if I am not filling though her I need to pay her $500 just to release the file. Is this correct? I can try and gather my documents but this will take me some time. I just need to confirm all the dates for divorces match as I cant locate the documents themselves. should I just pay the $500 or is she trying to "punish" me for not filling through her? I already savvy with everything needed and I don't even know why i involved a lawyer at all? any thoughts??

  • #2
    I used a lawyer for my initial h1b and then did everything by myself afterwards. With the H1B my lawyer sent me a complete copy of the file (unrequested) sent to USCIS without charge. It sounds like your lawyer is definitely being spiteful! You can get a copy of your original file from USCIS. Not sure how long it would take but would only cost $25.

    However if you are only needing the exact dates of divorce and if they were done in the US then you can just call the court clerk at whatever county you got divorced in and get the dates from them. Some counties even allow you to search for it online and access the information that way! Try googling "court docket search (county name) (state name)" into google and see if the county court keeps their records online! Part of my job consists of searching for court records in different places and its amazing how much can just be accessed online!

    Outside the US divorce I have no idea, but can't see it being too drastically different from what is needed above. Just call the court clerks whereever it took place and see if they can help you!!

    Hope this helps!!

    oh and i definitely recommend filing yourself if its a straightforward case!


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    • #3
      Originally posted by okccanary View Post
      I used a lawyer for my initial h1b and then did everything by myself afterwards. With the H1B my lawyer sent me a complete copy of the file (unrequested) sent to USCIS without charge. It sounds like your lawyer is definitely being spiteful! You can get a copy of your original file from USCIS. Not sure how long it would take but would only cost $25.
      However if you are only needing the exact dates of divorce and if they were done in the US then you can just call the court clerk at whatever county you got divorced in and get the dates from them. Some counties even allow you to search for it online and access the information that way! Try googling "court docket search (county name) (state name)" into google and see if the county court keeps their records online! Part of my job consists of searching for court records in different places and its amazing how much can just be accessed online!

      Outside the US divorce I have no idea, but can't see it being too drastically different from what is needed above. Just call the court clerks whereever it took place and see if they can help you!!

      Hope this helps!!

      oh and i definitely recommend filing yourself if its a straightforward case!


      Thanks so much for your thorough reply. I have applied to get a copy of my immigration file and it should be here in couple weeks. I will just wait for that as am not eligible to file yet. I was in disbelief when my lawyer told me of the cost, considering how I trusted her all through the process. What raised a red flag for me is after I told her of my plans, she tried to discourage me from filling by myself by trying to put fear in me. anyways, I guess anything to make more money. Thanks again and I will definitely post my progress on the forum.

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      • #4

        honestly my lawyer was a little like that to. He charged me 5k for the h1b and sent a quote of 4k to do my greencard via marriage and initially I was just going to do it but thankfully a friend who also went through the process convinced me that I could do it by myself and i'm so grateful he did that!!

        if you have any questions during the process then feel free to message but you will get great answers just posting on this site!!

        For n400 definitely recommend doing the online application through the uscis site! It basically walks you through it and pretty much won't let you submit until you have done it correctly! Its really straightforward and simple!!

        Good luck!! I know you will do great!

        Comment


        • #5
          As for your lawyer, it's unfortunate that they're charging you $500 just to release your file. I'm not entirely sure if that's legal, but it does seem a bit excessive. If you have the time and patience, gathering your own documents and double-checking the dates yourself might be a better option. However, if you're in a rush or would just rather not deal with the hassle, paying the $500 might be worth it to ensure that everything is in order. Or, you could try and find another ldirectory of lawyers. In my opinion, that would be the best option for you. It works everytime for me, and I'm never dissapointed with the results.
          Last edited by AllysonReid; 05-10-2023, 08:52 AM.

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          • #6
            Make sure you leave reviews about your attorney. Scum like that shouldn't be trusted by others.

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            • #7
              Same issue My Lawyer wants to charge an extra $1000 to release documents prior to filling N400 also because he is saying I committed some non-violent crimes before getting married so now to release the N400, we need to close the previous case and also give the bail bonds, which has an extra bit of history and the case was mitigated and closed on 2021

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              • #8
                $500 just to release documents seems like a hefty price tag, especially before you've even filed the N-400. It doesn't smell right to me.
                Maybe getting a second opinion from another lawyer is a good idea. There are even resources online that explain what you should expect to pay for immigration services.

                On the other hand, maybe there's a legitimate reason for the fee the lawyer is quoting. Anyone else out there have experience with lawyer fees for immigration applications?‚Äč
                Last edited by AbbiePreston; 04-03-2024, 09:01 AM.

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                • #9
                  Hi, all sorry I almost forgot about updating this. anyways $500 is excessive considering the lawyer did not give me a copy of the documents when I had filed earlier with them. if they had and i lost the documents then I can see why they would request a fee. Anyways this is what I did. I went to the Immigration website and requested for my documents. I forget which form I filled but they were sent (not sure email or post) withing a few weeks. I then I went ahead and filled out all the info required. It is extremely easy and straight forward. I got my citizenship last year in April and I am glad I did not use a lawyer. Now if your case has issues then the money might be a small price to pay but I feel if you case is straight forward then do everything yourself. hope this is helpful.

                  Arnold

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