Am I eligible for legal aid services?
You are eligible for NSLAC's free immigration legal aid help if you live in north suburban Cook County or Lake County and meet our requirements for financial need. Clients must have a household income less than 250% of the federal poverty level. Victims of domestic violence have no income barrier when seeking aid. Unsure whether you qualify? Contact our office and an intake specialist will help determine if you are eligible for our free immigration help.
How do I apply for legal aid?
Applying for legal aid is simple and accessible. To get started, you can either schedule a consultation online by clicking the link below or call us at (847) 737-4042. Our intake specialists will assist you in determining your eligibility and whether your situation aligns with the legal issues we can address. If you qualify, we'll schedule an immigration consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Our team is proficient in both English and Spanish and if you require assistance in another language, we can connect you with interpretation services. We're here to make the legal aid application process as straightforward and inclusive as possible.
Preparing for your intake:
An immigration attorney will call you at your scheduled time for your immigration consultation, which typically lasts 30-60 minutes. We recommend that you find a private and quiet space to take the call as this will make it easier for our attorneys to assist you.
What if NSLAC can’t help with my case?
If it turns out that we cannot assist in your case, we often provide referrals to other legal aid organizations or outside resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a charge for the services I receive?
No. We are a completely free legal aid clinic.
My partner or parent is controlling. Can you help me without getting them involved?
Yes. NSLAC has immigration and domestic violence attorneys on staff, and we can confidently and securely assist you. If your partner or parent has access to your phone/email, you can come to the clinic in person at 491 Laurel Ave, Highland Park.
Do you handle criminal defense cases?
We do not handle criminal defense cases.
How do you determine if I am eligible for legal help?
To be eligible for our assistance, you must live in north suburban Cook County or Lake County. However, based on capacity, we can take cases outside of our service areas on a case-by-case basis. Your income must be at or below 250% of the poverty guidelines. NSLAC may decline to represent those who have committed violent crimes. Please contact NSLAC for more information. After an immigration screening and intake, we will inform you if we can assist you with your case.
What if I don’t live in your service area? What if I earn too much to qualify for your services?
If you are ineligible for our services, we would be happy to refer you to one of our trusted partner organizations.
How do I apply for services with NSLAC?
All calls for free legal assistance are confidential and accepted by telephone at (847) 737-4042 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phones are answered during business hours, Monday-Friday: 9 am-5 pm, with the exception of some holidays.
Do you cover court and other fees?
No. However, we can assist eligible clients in applying for a fee waiver, if applicable.
What is a DOJ-accredited representative?
The Department of Justice certifies some non-attorneys to assist clients in immigration matters. These representatives have completed extensive coursework and training to ensure they are well-equipped to assist you in your immigration legal matters.
Why is an attorney needed to help fill out immigration forms?
Immigration law is complicated and ever-changing. Only DOJ-accredited representatives and attorneys have the training and resources to properly advise on immigration law. Others who try to assist in immigration matters are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, and they may cause financial hardship and devastating immigration consequences.
What will happen if immigration law or policy changes?
We are notified of immigration law and policy changes, and we will inform you of how any new decisions might affect your case. At NSLAC, we work diligently to stay up to date with policy and procedure changes. However, due to the constant and quick changes to immigration laws, policies and procedures, we cannot guarantee an outcome on a case.
What are the processing times for my case?
Though case processing times can vary, the most updated information can be found on the USCIS website, found HERE.
Is the NSLAC affiliated with the US government or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?
We are a non-profit funded by generous funders and supporters in our community. We are not affiliated with the U.S. government or USCIS.