Daily Archives: January 6, 2020

How Immigration Lawyers Support Spanish Speaking Clients

Houston is one of the fastest-growing cities in the entire country, and home to well over 2 million residents. At Fong Ilagan, LLP, we pride ourselves on our commitment to serving all members of our community. Our legal team is able to go above and beyond in helping non-English-speaking clients. We are able to work in nine different languages, including Spanish, which meets a crucial need in our local community. If your primary language is Spanish, working with a Spanish speaking immigration lawyer can be the difference between success and failure in your case.

How Can a Spanish Speaking Immigration Lawyer Help You?

For most English speakers, finding legal representation in the United States is mostly a matter of identifying which attorneys have the right legal skills. Many people never are faced with the thought that they might need to look for someone who also understands them at a basic level. Yet native Spanish speakers (and those who speak other languages) need to be able to communicate with their legal consultants clearly and accurately.

In addition, in the United States, it is also necessary for legal representatives to be fluent in English in order to navigate the legal system. In this case, a Spanish speaking immigration lawyer needs to be bilingual, both understanding the needs of the client and also understanding the ins and outs of U.S. laws. There are four reasons this can be particularly important.

1. They Can Help You Simply By Using Basic Conversation Skills

If you wind up needing legal advice, you will want to understand your options as best as possible. This is true for speakers of any language. English speakers will need their legal options explained to them, so they understand what consequences their choices and actions will have. If you speak a non-English language, you may find it more challenging to communicate even in small ways with an attorney who only speaks English.

This is especially important when it comes to asking questions. You may know exactly what you need to ask, and what you want to know. However, if it is not possible to communicate your needs to your legal counsel, you will be more limited in your choices. If Spanish is your native language, you’ll not only have an “easier time” talking to a Spanish speaking lawyer––you’ll get more information as a result of your easier conversations. In addition, the quality of the advice you get will also be improved, as you can ask for clarification and be assured that your questions will actually be answered properly.

2. They Can Help Complete Forms and Paperwork

In many cases, forms and papers will need to be filled out in English. This can be overwhelming to someone who does not read the language well. Even if the client is able to translate the forms carefully, there is a risk that an improperly filled-out form can slow down an application process, or even result in a denied visa. The consequences of a small error can be very difficult to undo, and it is much easier to get it done properly the first time. A Spanish speaking immigration lawyer will have both the legal skills to understand these forms, and the language skills to explain it all to a client.

3. They Can Help Build a Foundation of Trust

When you are working with a legal team, you are often making some of the most important decisions that will affect your life, and the lives of your loved ones. In these circumstances, it is absolutely essential to develop a strong sense of trust and respect with your attorneys. People generally have a much easier time placing trust in a person who speaks their language and will understand them. Share language instantly bridges the gap between people.

Legal procedures can get complicated and occasionally frustrating, but it makes all the difference when you have total confidence that your legal team is looking out for your best interests. You are more able to speak openly and candidly with your attorneys, and the more they understand about your needs, the better they will be able to help you.

4. They Can Help Avoid Costly Mistakes

Law can often be intricate and complex. If lawyers don’t know what they are doing, cases and applications can easily become derailed by bureaucratic complications. If there is a gap in understanding between lawyer and client––if they cannot understand each other well from the very beginning––this increases the likelihood of a miscalculation or mistake further along in the process. Sometimes it’s possible to recover from these errors, but it is much better not to make them to begin with.

The legal system is often overwhelmed by the amount of work there is to do. Finding time for someone to change a decision or revisit a ruling can cost valuable time. In the case of immigration, lost time can often lead to missed deadlines and serious complications. When you work with a team that speaks your native language, you’re able to avoid these tiny costly mistakes that can potentially change the outcome of your immigration process.

Why Not Use a Translator Instead?

In these cases, it is often not enough simply to have a translator. Someone who is bilingual may be able to translate English into Spanish and vice-versa, but unless the translator also has a solid understanding of legal processes, there is the possibility that even a small detail can become confused, and can hurt the chances of a successful case or application process.

You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Quality

In many cases, people choose to get legal help based on expertise. You might want an immigration lawyer with many years of experience in a certain field, but this lawyer may not speak your native language as well as English. With Fong Ilagan, you don’t need to sacrifice one or the other. You can get a Spanish speaking immigration lawyer with a wealth of experience in Business Immigration, Employment-Based Visas, Family Immigration, Citizenship, Naturalization, EB-5 Investment Visas, and more.

Our Law Firm

We have been serving clients for decades, and are deeply committed to our community in Houston. Our lawyers have extensive experience in the fields of immigration services, global migration, and business-related immigration cases. Whatever your personal case––whether you are trying to avoid being deported, or are investigating obtaining employment-based or family-based visas––our team can bring our legal expertise, and explain your options in your language.

Our Values

We believe in the values of integrity and hard work, and we strive to be client-focused in everything we do. We provide creative solutions to difficult problems, in a friendly and professional manner. We believe in courtesy, no matter your background or circumstances. You can rest assured that we will do everything possible to help you with your own personal immigration journey.

For more information on our Spanish speaking immigration lawyer services, please contact the attorneys at Fong Ilagan, LLP at 713.772.2300, or visit www.fonglegal.com. If English is not your preferred language, you can adjust the settings on our site to Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish (you will see the “Select Language” option in the upper right portion of the screen.) Our experienced legal team will reply to your inquiry as soon as we can. Esperamos poder servirle… we look forward to serving you!

Articles - News