Often we are asked how to prepare for a consultation. In order to answer, we thought we’d set set out a checklist to assist you. We have them in French and Portuguese as well.
Of course, if for any reason you are not able to come to the consultation, please contact the office by phone to re-schedule. We will do our best to set a new date and time convenient for you. Likewise, if you are running late, please call us so we can accommodate you. To reach the Philadelphia office by phone, call 610-664-6271; our Wilmington office is at 302-225-2734.
1) Please complete your Intake Form (in English,Portuguese, and Spanish) and provide it to us prior to the interview, if possible. You may download the Intake Form from the blog or our website to speed up intake. If you are unable to download it, contact us so we can send it to you via email, fax, or mail. You will pay the Consultation fee at the conclusion of the consultation.
2) We are a “family friendly” office. Feel free to bring your child or children to the consultation. We are happy to provide them with toys, books, and coloring materials while we explore your immigration issue. However, children are not allowed to translate, since we may discuss issues that are sensitive or otherwise not appropriate for children. We believe in letting kids be kids.
3) If you have any immigration documents, bring them with you to the Consultation. For example, if you have ever filed anything with INS, USCIS, ICE, or had contact with immigration, please bring any papers or forms you received. This helps us to understand you and your immigration issue better.
4) If you will be consulting with us about obtaining lawful permanent residence (the “greencard”) for a fiancée or spouse, and he or she is in the United States, you should consult with us together. It is helpful to have all interested parties involved from the beginning. If your spouse or fiancé(e) is outside the USA, we are happy to allow them to join the consultation via skype or speakerphone. Our skype handle is “immigrationlawyershv”.
5) Please arrive 10-15 minutes early. This will help ensure interviews start on time. We do our best to start Consultations on time and complete them within the 1 hour allotted. If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we may have to shorten your interview or even reschedule you. If you may be or are running late, please call the office to let us know, and allow us to assist you.
6) At Hogan & Vandenberg, we understand your time is valuable. If your wait for the Consultation is 30 minutes or longer, your Consultation fee will be reduced by 50%. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, a wait of longer than 30 minutes is expected, your Consultation will be free, and you will be given the choice to wait in the office or to go to lunch or coffee; we’ll call you when the attorney is ready. You could also reschedule the consultation — for free — for another date in light of your inconvenience.
7) Consultations will be kept to one hour, unless there are emergency or exceptional circumstances. In most cases, if additional time is needed for a consultation, a follow-up consultation will be scheduled. This will be most fair to all potential clients who are waiting.
8) You can make payments via cash, check, credit card, or bank transfer.
9) For directions to our offices in Philadelphia or Wilmington, click on the city name.
Our Wilmington office usually has ample street parking nearby. We suggest you put at least 2 hours of time into the meter.
For the Philadelphia office, located in Center City, there are a number of options available for parking. It is possible that you could locate street parking near our office. You will generally pay about $6 for 2 hours. Read signs carefully to avoid a ticket.
Because street parking is limited in Philadelphia, we suggest that you pay for a parking garage. The cheapest parking near to our office is Latimer Garage ($12 for up to 10 hours). Latimer is the street directly south of our office on Locust. If it is full, there is another garage right next to it. Both are cheaper than the garage by our office at 1500 Locust.
To avoid any parking hassle, you can use Public Transportation. The following access the office:
· Bus: All buses come to 15th and Market, and most pass even closer to 15th and Locust
· Regional Rail: Suburban Station is a very close walk from our office, and if the weather is bad you can actually walk underground to where the Patco stairs are, at the corner of 16th and Locust.
· Trolley: comes to 15th and Market.
· Patco: entry/stairs at 16th and Locust
For more information on public transportation to the Philadelphia Office, please visit http://www.septa.org/ for a list of all SEPTA services.
We hope we have answered some of your questions. We look forward to seeing you!
Hogan & Vandenberg