1. Bring a list of possible questions. You already have enough worries and don’t need to forget a question.
2. Be truthful and accurate. The attorney’s advice is only as good as the information you provide.
3. Bring all immigration paperwork that you have ever sent or received, or you think is remotely relevant to your case. Paperwork paints the most accurate picture of your immigration history.
4. If you have ever been arrested, bring whatever documents you have about the incident.
5. If the immigration authorities have ever arrested you, bring a list of those apprehensions, with dates, places, and reasons. A good portion of the consultation will be dedicated to entries and departures.
6. Find out everything you can about the law firm. Talk to friends and family, search the Internet, visit their website, and don’t forget to review comments in Yahoo Local and similar websites.
7. Don’t reveal at the beginning of the consultation that you’ve consulted with other lawyers. Allow the attorney to analyze your situation, and then compare notes at the end.
8. Bring your spouse if your spouse is petitioning you. Your spouse’s presence and participation says a lot about the marriage—a key issue in immigration cases.
9. Keep the children at home to minimize distractions while analyzing and discussing complicated issues. Remember that the strategy developed during the initial consultation will deeply affect you and your family for the rest of your life.
10. Consider a telephonic consultation: they’re very convenient and a time saver for you.