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The Job Functions and Profile of an Immigration Attorney

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Immigration attorneys are attorneys who specialize in immigration law. They get employed by law firms which have departments for immigration attorney jobs.

The Job Functions and Profile of an Immigration Attorney

Legal citizens, either by birth or by naturalization, don't normally need a lot of consultation from immigration attorneys. This is because most of the issues that immigration attorney jobs deal with relate to obtaining citizenship. If you are an alien residing in a foreign country and would like to be a naturalized citizen of that country, then it would be advisable to consult an immigration attorney.

Understanding an Immigration Attorney's Job

To completely understand what immigration attorney jobs entail, you need to understand what immigration means. Immigration is a permanent move by a foreigner from his country of origin to another country. The responsibilities of an immigration attorney are to give legal advice and guidance to immigrants.

There are different types of immigrants. There are, for example, illegal aliens — people who migrated into a foreign country without proper documentation. Illegal aliens are normally deported by state agencies if caught residing in the given nation illegally.

Other immigrants are refugees. Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of war, violence, or threats to their lives based of their political or religious convictions. Refugees who immigrate to foreign countries due to threats to their lives are often allowed to stay in those countries.

Immigration attorney jobs, like other legal jobs, are regulated by state law. An immigration attorney is required by law to maintain lawyer-client confidentiality. No matter what your client tells you, you have to maintain confidentiality. Immigration attorneys therefore have a duty to offer legal counsel to their clients on how state laws on immigration will affect them. They are supposed to give guidance and direction on the relevant procedures to those willing to apply for citizenship.

An immigrant who has committed a crime will seek the guidance of an immigration attorney to determine whether or not the crime he/she has committed might lead to his/her deportation. If you have applied several times for citizenship and you have been unsuccessful, it will be the responsibility of an immigration attorney to advise you on why you have been unsuccessful.

Education and Admission to the Bar

Immigration attorneys, just like other lawyers, have to undergo a seven-year academic program (including undergraduate study, that is). After obtaining their law degrees, they are normally recruited by law firms as associates. Legal firms which offer immigration attorney jobs normally have their own recruitment programs. They determine what minimum level of qualifications they will require before an attorney can be admitted as an associate. Joining a law firm as an associate is an important step for an immigration attorney; it enables the attorney to work under experienced immigration attorneys who offer advice and guidance.

Success and Advancement

To be successful in an immigration attorney job, you have to like working with people. Several states have stringent rules on immigration, and thus you have to win the trust of your clients. If the clients are not able to trust you as an immigration attorney, you may not succeed in any immigration attorney jobs.

There are various avenues for advancement in immigration attorney jobs. For example, you might be employed as a judge or a magistrate after several years of practice. Government departments also offer immigration attorney jobs. Immigration attorneys working for the government usually formulate policies touching on immigration on behalf of the government, as well as act as advisors to the government on various issues related to immigration.

Non-Governmental Organizations

Immigration and attorney jobs can also be found with non-governmental organizations. Non-governmental organizations offer immigration attorneys jobs to work in various fields, such as advocating for the rights of immigrants or acting as legal representatives for immigrants who cannot afford the services of an attorney.

The world is a global village. Companies often expand their areas of operation into different countries. As they expand, they either recruit new employees from those countries or move in with their own employees. If they move in their current employees, then they may need the services of an immigration attorney to work out details relating to work permits and visas.

Job Market

There is a lot of competition for immigration attorney jobs. Your academic performance, coupled with the reputation of your law school, determines a lot in the job market. Graduates from highly regarded law schools with brilliant academic records often find it easy to secure jobs. Of course, economic conditions also affect the availability of immigration attorney jobs. As the economy grows, companies will expand and, in the process, require more employees. Such employees may be foreigners, and hence they will need the services of an immigration attorney for advice and guidance on how to speedily process immigration documents.


The job environment for immigration attorneys is very competitive. The stringent immigration laws instituted by many countries mean that immigration lawyers have a lot of work to do advising and guiding immigrants on how these laws and regulations affect them. As the number of people migrating from one country to another increases due to various issues, the roles that immigration lawyers play will also increase.

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