Immigration paralegal is growing day by day, In today’s globalized world, where immigration has become a lot open. It helps their clients in naturalizing in their new country and become legal residents. They assist clients in properly immigrating to a country. They work not for just private individuals but also for non-profit organizations and government agencies. You can get all your desire information about Law School as well.
The biggest hurdle for immigrants in settling in a new country is the language. A lot of people do not have an understanding of more than one language and that’s why they struggle in adapting to a new country and face legal hurdles as well. This is why there is a need for Immigration paralegals in immigration law.
These paralegals help out the clients by explaining changes to the law, advise them and they make sure that their clients choose the best course of action. Since the service which they perform is essential and demand is ever increasing, the salary is increasing as well!
Immigration Paralegal – Meaning
Mainly Paralegals are a type of assistants in legal offices. They provide support to Attorney, government agencies, corporations by researching legal components, engaging in a legal investigation, and preparing legal documents.
Paralegals spend their most of time in the following tasks-
- Case management involves coordination and organization on time.
- Interviewing clients and maintaining contact with them under Attorney supervision.
- Analyzing legal documents and offering the best solutions.
- Summarising legal documents, testimonials, and proceedings.
- Assisting and advising during the trial.
- Drafting and signing legal correspondence that contains information but does not consist of legal advice.
- Locating and interviewing witnesses.
- Assisting lawyers and Attorneys.
Immigration Paralegal jobs
Tasks performed in this field are-
- Communicating with clients- You will have to meet a lot of people from different countries and different economic backgrounds. You have to speak a lot of languages in this job.
- Translation of documents- You will have to translate foreign language documents in English. There is a lot of paperwork here and you have to go through many documents in different scripts.
- Researching about immigration laws of various countries so that they can obtain legal documents such as visas from other countries.
- Knowledge about foreign degrees- Many students from various countries arrive in the U.S. for education in top universities. You should know about foreign degrees and their respective equivalents.
- Coordinating paperwork- This includes processing and clearing documents related to immigration, citizenship, etc.
- Preparing documents for deportation
- Assisting in the processing of H-1B extensions, Labour certificates, and L-1 Visas. – They are temporary work and labor permits which are very popular in the world and have been subjected to changes under different regimes.
- Reviewing and approving client billing under the supervision of an Attorney.
There is a lot of scope in taking this option as a career. If you think that you can acquire these skills and lead a life in the legal circle then this is a great job.
We have presented the basics, now it is time to dive into more details
How to become a Immigration Paralegal?
The first step to becoming an immigration law paralegal involves completing a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).
The ABA approves various types of Immigration paralegal programs at different levels. There are certificate programs, associative degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs.
There is no legal obligation to complete a degree but most of the legal organizations recommend a course of a minimum of 60-semester credits with a few months of internship.
The immigration law is a very complex one, that’s why it is recommended to have certification in this field. Most of the students prefer taking a formal degree in this field to learn skills and get some experience under their belt. Many of the programs are distance-based so that students who cannot attend regular college face no hindrance in the pursuit of their education.
Paralegal Immigration Courses
Graduates are awarded a certificate after displaying proficiency in the following topics-
- Asylum and protection laws
- Visas and other related documents
- Temporary work visas
- Dual Citizenship
- Compliance Issues
- Knowledge about government agencies
- Homeland Security
- Naturalization law
- Diversity lottery
So, as you can see, what type of education is required to get accepted in this field. Moreover, these specializations increase knowledge, skills, and cater to proper development through internship and practical programs.
Immigration Paralegal Cost
As stated earlier, there is no legal compulsion of obtaining certification to practice paralegal jobs in immigration law. But it is advisable to go for a formal degree because it will make you stand out from the rest of your competitors.
These take less time to complete, but are more intensive than an associate’s degree, and may require a bachelor’s degree in a related field, but not all programs require more than a high school degree If you do not want to get overlooked by the employers, then receive formal training in paralegal law.
The immigration paralegal cost of education for a paralegal degree varies from state to state and course to course. We have done a cost-based analysis of education.
- If you want to complete the associative degree, the full-time tuition fees based on two 15-unit semesters are about $600 to $5400 per year. In California, the per-unit rate is the lowest i.e. $25 but in Vermont, the fees may rise to $200 per unit. Our Readers Can Also Refers To
- There are many state colleges and universities that offer bachelor level degree courses for paralegal studies. Paralegal immigration courses vary between $500-$25000 per year, depending upon the resident status of the student. For example, the New York City College of Technology offers a four-year degree course in Legal Assistant Studies. Its fees for the state locals are $4600 and fees for students coming from outside the state are $12,450 per year.
- The students who already have a graduate-level degree in some other discipline, a course in paralegal studies costs less. For them, a short course on paralegal degree is there which is enough for certification. It costs around $4000. UCLA Extension offers a five-month classroom course for just around $6000.
- There are many private institutes and vocational schools that offer courses in paralegal studies. They charge around $5000 to $12000 for both associate and certificate programs.
- On the Job, training is also available in this field. They are offered by some of the companies. You can check the websites of various legal firms to know about that.
- Distance courses and online courses for a certificate in paralegal education costs $3000 to $10000. University of California, Berkeley offers an online course divided into two parts. Each part costs around $1800 and it is completed within three months.
As you can see, the cost of education in this field is very affordable. In case, you are limited on your finances then there is a great option of correspondence as well as online courses. In today’s digital world, gaining access to quality higher education has become very affordable. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) offers a Basic Immigration Paralegal Law Course.
We recommend you to opt for the Associative degree program. The length of this course is less and it provides all types of skills you need in this career. It has exciting internship programs that will give you a deep insight into the job field and real-life experience. If you want to opt for a bachelor’s degree program then also it is fine. Many Paralegals Graduates of this 60-hour program earn the Board of Immigration (BIA) certification. The bachelor’s degree will give you more time to develop your skill set.
Immigration Paralegal Job Opportunities
Once you have completed your education and acquire certification, you are ready to begin your journey as an Immigration Paralegal. There are a lot of job opportunities in this field. You will get job opportunities in the following offices-
- Corporate offices
- Immigration Centres
- Non-profit organizations
- Government agencies
- Accounts Department of various organizations
- Large law firms
- Mid-size law firms
In addition to that, you can work by yourself and become self-employed. There are a lot of paralegals who are working independently. Given the demand for it in the market, it is not a bad choice to work independently after a few years’ experience under your belt.
Immigration Paralegal Salary
The salary is impressive nowadays. According to the According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) current Occupational Outlook Handbook latest reports, the average of immigration paralegal salary is $48,832 per year. In the initial years, the salary will be fairly low but as you move up on the ladder and gain experience, you will see an increase in your salary. Salaries also depend upon the specialization in this field.
Workload Of Immigration Paralegal
In the initial stages, there will be a lot of work. You have to research and study a lot. You always have to keep up-to-date with the laws as they are dynamic. But with experience, your workload will reduce and the job will become a lot easier for you.
There are no fixed hours in this field, it depends on how many clients are there and how many requests have been made. There come days when there is hardly anything to do and there are days when you would not get time to sleep. It depends a lot on emergencies and client urgency.
Immigration Paralegal Skills
If you are looking to take this immigration paralegal job, then you should possess the following skills-
- Strong verbal communication- In this work, you will be meeting clients from various countries so you should be well versed in verbal communication. You should know most of the foreign languages; you should have good writing and active listening skills. Communication is the pillar of every relationship; a clear and active communication will strengthen the trust between you and your clients.
- Studious- Prepare to read and study a lot. The immigration laws are complex and change with change in governments. You should be well versed in any clause changing. Remaining up-to-date is an essential prerequisite of this job.
- Critical Thinking- Immigration Paralegal Jobs requires you to solve complex issues and give the best solution to your clients. Hence, critical thinking and decision making are very important qualities to have.
- Persuasion and negotiation- Persuading others in going towards a particular decision and negotiating with clients to sort out differences are key skills one must possess in this field.
- Administration and Management- Knowledge of business and management practices, ability to plan strategies, leadership quality, coordination of people, and the resources are very important to have a successful career. He should have ample business knowledge because there is a huge requirement of Immigration Paralegal in a business environment.
- Legal Knowledge- You should be fully equipped with legal knowledge, procedures followed by different agencies, standards, and guidelines, government systems, etc.
- Clerical efficiency- You should possess clerical skills as many of the paralegals are initially given the desk jobs. This includes knowledge of clerical procedures such as word processing, managing files, and records, creating forms, stenography, terminologies, and transcription.
- Computer literacy- In today’s digital world, computer knowledge is a prerequisite of every job around the world. You should be well versed with all MS Office software, speedy typing, and good presentation.
The job of the Immigration Paralegal in immigration law is a very interesting one and comes up with its challenges. A career in the legal field will open a lot of gateways for you in your life. Build your confidence, pay attention to detail, try to learn as much as possible, and do not hesitate in taking risks. If you have the right mind-set, you will go all the way in your career.
We have already discussed the salary and responsibilities. Economically, this career is very viable because the investment is very less in education and the job opportunities are many. The pay is fairly enough to live a decent life.
The need in recent times for Immigration Paralegal has increased, due to a heavy workload on lawyers and the delay in clearances of urgent requests. Moreover, the complex nature of immigration laws will make sure that there is no shortage of opportunities in this field.
Lastly, immigration has become a debate of discussion in most of the countries and it is always scrutinized due to safety reasons. This is an area that will always be on the news and the governments would not accept any type of mismanagement in immigration implementation.
So if you have already made up your mind about becoming Immigration Paralegal, do not think too much. Just go for it. It is an excellent career option for people coming from different streams. And if you need assistance, do not hesitate in contacting us. For further information in details, Kindly visit our homepage online school .