Immigration Attorney Jobs - What Is Important
Immigration attorneys are licensed law practitioners who are specialized in different areas based on their qualification and field of specialization. It is a very lucrative field with plenty of job opportunities.
Jobs for Immigration Attorneys
As an immigration attorney you can either work as a solo practitioner in private firms or for the federal government. You may even work in family based petitions, employment based petitions, represent in immigration court or visa applications.
Federal Government: You can work as immigration hearing officer or a judge in The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) where you will be required to handle petitions related to asylum and refugees. If you take up a job in The Department of Homeland Security, you will be handling border security and customs.
Solo Practitioner: Solo practice will give you the opportunity to work independently and involves handling a variety of cases such as green card applications and employment visas.
Private Firms: Private firms usually hire immigration attorneys to handle immigration status of their existing and prospective employees. You will be hired to work as an in-house counsel.
Law School Professor: Law schools in US hire experienced immigration attorneys to work as immigration law professors at their immigration clinics. In this position you will be supervising law students as they represent immigrants before the federal court or the INS.
Job Description of Immigration Attorney
Immigration law determines the obligations, duties and rights of immigrants. The immigration laws are basically guidelines for foreigners attempting to acquire US citizenship. An immigration attorney defends immigrants or prosecutes them for illegal entry on behalf of US government.
If you are planning to specialize in immigration law then you should be well versed with the rights of immigrants, rules for legal entry into US and most important you should be authorized to represent your clients before the INS jury.
Employment based petitions involves preparing visas, conducting consultations, addressing issues related to immigration process and filing petitions.
Family based petition requires you to have experience in representing clients in immigration court. Your job involves preparing citizenship applications on behalf of your clients, handle citizenship issues related to children and consular processing.
How to Become an Immigration Attorney?
If your interest lies in working with foreigners, then a career in immigration law can be the right choice. Following degrees will help you become an immigration attorney
Bachelors Degree: At this level you should choose subjects that will develop your reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Choosing political science or foreign affairs can prove to be very helpful in the future.
Law School: Admission to law school will require you to pass a test. Your admission into a law school will depend partly on your undergraduate grades and partly on the admission test scores.
Internship: You should participate in internship simultaneously during your law course. Choose internships that focus on immigration laws.
License: Pass the bar examination to get a license.
Future of Immigration Attorneys
The US bureau of labor statistics reveals that the employment for immigration attorneys is expected to increase significantly up to 13%. On an average an immigration attorney earns an annual salary ranging from $84,084 to $118,212 depending upon their state and position.