Traditional Immigration Lawyer vs. Boundless: What's the Difference?


Common questions about immigration lawyers and how they compare with Boundless

What do immigration lawyers do vs. Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Immigration lawyers provide different services, based on their level of experience, expertise, and their client’s needs. They may either complete and review the immigration forms, advise their client on legal issues, represent them in court or at their interview, or all of the above.

Boundless

Boundless gives you a top-rated independent immigration lawyer who reviews your entire application and, once you’re ready to file, answers your legal questions — at no extra cost.

To maximize your chance of government approval, they check for consistency, accuracy, and completeness, as well as for any potential legal issues that could compromise your eligibility for a green card.

How much does an immigration lawyer cost vs. Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Traditional immigration lawyers charge about $2,000–$12,000, depending on the services you need and the complexity of your situation. You can expect to pay an hourly rate of $100–$300 or an upfront fee of several thousand dollars, also known as a “retainer.”

Boundless

Boundless costs significantly less: $950 (or just $190 per month) for help with your marriage green card application. This includes your fully assembled application package and an independent immigration lawyer who reviews your entire application and, once you’re ready to file, answers your legal questions.

Unlike traditional immigration law offices, Boundless can also cover your government filing fees and lets you pay by installment over 6 months.

Will an immigration lawyer give me a free consultation? Will Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

While some immigration lawyers offer a free consultation, others charge $75–$150 just for a 15- to 30-minute meeting — often just to decide if they’ll even take you on as a client.

Don’t expect an immigration lawyer to give you advice for free, though! You’ll need to hire them first and pay their regular rate to get any actual help.

Boundless

Although Boundless doesn’t offer a free initial consultation, our easy-to-use online eligibility checker will automatically assess your situation and determine whether Boundless is the right fit for you. And once you’re ready to file, you’ll get unlimited, 30-minute consultations with an independent immigration lawyer to answer your legal questions about your application — for no extra fee! It’s all included in the $950 price.

Can I fill out my immigration forms without a lawyer?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Yes, anyone can fill out immigration paperwork on their own. But just like income tax forms, immigration forms can be tricky and time-consuming. They’re based on complicated rules that are constantly changing, and even simple mistakes could result in delays or even denial.

Because the stakes are so high, many people hire immigration lawyers to deal with the paperwork, but beware: traditional immigration lawyers can charge thousands just to fill out forms on their client’s behalf.

Boundless

Boundless takes a different approach: Our user-friendly online tool turns your immigration forms into simple questions you can answer easily and with confidence. Plus, a top-rated independent immigration lawyer reviews your complete application package and addresses your legal concerns — at no extra cost.

You won’t waste money paying someone to fill out forms on your behalf, and you get the peace of mind knowing that an experienced immigration lawyer has reviewed every page of your application and documents.

How can an immigration lawyer help with my green card application? How can Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

An immigration lawyer can help in many ways: they can prepare and review their client’s green card application, interpret immigration laws and questions on forms, and select the best documents to support their case. They can also advise their client on potential legal matters related to their specific situation and, in some cases, represent them in immigration court or attend their green card interview.

Boundless

With Boundless, you get simplified immigration forms and, once you’re ready to file, a fully assembled application package that includes all the right documents. You also get an independent immigration lawyer who reviews all your paperwork and advises you on your legal concerns.

But unlike a traditional lawyer who’s tracking their billable hours, there’s no extra charge for your Boundless-affiliated immigration lawyer, no matter how many questions you have and how many pages your application includes.

Can an immigration lawyer speed up the process? Can Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Unfortunately, hiring an immigration lawyer won’t speed up green card approval. Wait times depend on a number of factors, such as the applicant’s home country, their spouse’s immigration or citizenship status, and even the number of staff who can evaluate applications at U.S. immigration offices.

Although immigration lawyers can’t influence any of these factors, they can help get their client’s paperwork in order as quickly as possible, but this also depends on their current workload and whether they have a sophisticated application system like the one Boundless provides — most don’t.

Boundless

Boundless can’t speed up the U.S. government’s processing timeline, either. But we can help you be ready to file in as little as 6 weeks. Our online tool streamlines the process of filling out immigration forms, which most Boundless customers typically complete in under 2 hours.

We also help you avoid mistakes along the way that could delay or compromise your application. Plus, an experienced independent immigration lawyer reviews every page of your application — including all your forms and supporting documents — so you can file with confidence.

When might you need your own immigration lawyer vs. Boundless?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Applicants dealing with complex immigration issues — deportation or a history of criminal violations, for example — generally would benefit from hiring an immigration lawyer. If the applicant is simply overburdened by the amount of paperwork involved, then hiring a traditional immigration attorney is often not the best option. Many lawyers charge thousands of dollars just to prepare their client’s visa packet.

Boundless

If you have no prior immigration violations or encounters with law enforcement — or if you’re just overwhelmed by the paperwork — then Boundless is generally your best and most cost-effective option. We simplify the forms, guide you through all the official requirements, and — once you’re ready to file — connect you with an independent immigration lawyer who can address your legal questions about your situation.

How do I choose an immigration lawyer?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Choosing an immigration lawyer is like dating: You have to devote time and energy to meeting different lawyers until you find the right match. End up with the wrong one, and you’ll have wasted lots of time and money.

Before hiring a lawyer, make sure to confirm they’re licensed (and not on the government’s list of badly behaving lawyers). Watch out for immigration scams, too — not everyone who claims to be a lawyer is properly qualified.

Boundless

With Boundless, you don’t have to do any of the searching, vetting, or hiring yourself. We’ve done the hard work of evaluating licensed independent immigration lawyers to make sure our customers work only with the best.

All Boundless-affiliated immigration lawyers have several years of relevant experience and a significant history of successful application filings. Apart from their skills and experience, these lawyers are responsive, empathetic, and respected in their professional community.

Do I need a local immigration lawyer?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Because immigration law is federal, immigration lawyers can work with clients anywhere in the United States or in other countries. Although they must be licensed in at least one state, they don’t need to be practicing from their client’s state or city.

In most cases, applicants generally don’t need in-person representation unless they’re dealing with issues like removal proceedings (deportation) or prior criminal violations that complicate their green card application.

Boundless

Boundless-affiliated immigration lawyers are just like all other immigration lawyers: they’re licensed by at least one state and authorized to practice immigration law.

As a Boundless customer, your independent immigration lawyer is accessible through multiple communication channels, including phone, email, and video-conferencing platforms.

Do immigration lawyers go to court? What about Boundless-affiliated lawyers?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Most immigration lawyers don’t appear in court because immigration applications are handled via paper or online forms by federal immigration agencies.

Immigration lawyers typically appear in court only if their client is in deportation or removal proceedings for committing immigration violations or if their client wishes to appeal their application for asylum.

Boundless

Boundless currently cannot help spouses seeking a green card if they are or have been in deportation or removal proceedings. We also cannot help applicants seeking asylum. It’s generally best for applicants in these types of situations to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney.

If you need legal assistance, you may be eligible for our Ask My Attorney program. Check if you qualify.

Will an immigration lawyer attend my USCIS interview? What about a Boundless-network lawyer?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Although an immigration lawyer can attend their client’s USCIS interview, not all of them do. Most applicants with a straightforward case that was already reviewed by their immigration lawyer usually can attend their interview without legal representation.

Immigration lawyers often only attend if their client has a complicated case or if they were hired only after their client had already filed their green card application, which turned out to have red flags.

Boundless

Although your independent lawyer can’t attend your interview, Boundless customers have a 99.7% approval rate once they reach the interview stage. That’s because every application completed through Boundless is thoroughly reviewed by a top-rated independent immigration lawyer to make sure it’s complete and free of errors and red flags.

To help ensure your success, we also provide detailed interview preparation materials that most Boundless customers report “over-preparing” them for the big day. You’ll also have a chance to discuss any legal concerns about your application with your independent immigration lawyer before you file so you can be confident at your interview.

Can I change my immigration lawyer?

Traditional Immigration Lawyer

Yes, a client generally can end their relationship with their immigration lawyer at any time. This is often the best course of action if the immigration lawyer has mishandled their client’s case.

However, this process can be a headache because of the many steps involved, including seeking new legal counsel, notifying the U.S. government about the change in your representation (if you’ve already filed), and figuring out the amount of fees to be paid or collected as a refund.

Boundless

Our customers love their Boundless-affiliated immigration lawyers and rarely request a different one to help them. That’s because every immigration lawyer who works with our customers goes through a rigorous Boundless vetting process before they join our network to ensure their service is of the highest quality.

If you have any concerns, just let us know by sending an email to help@boundless.com. We evaluate every such request on a case-by-case basis, but we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.