Immigration Paralegal Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Are you searching for an immigration paralegal job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an immigration paralegal. Feel free to use our immigration paralegal job description template to produce your own immigration paralegal job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an immigration paralegal.
Who is an Immigration Paralegal?
An immigration paralegal is a legal practitioner whose job is to interact with clients and assist them to process their visa petitions and sort other immigration issues. They collaborate with immigration lawyers and offer support to attorneys with expertise in the immigration and citizenship systems. An immigration paralegal specializes in guiding clients through the immigration procedure and assisting them in obtaining citizenship. The planning for the immigration process and many other legal procedures are handled administratively by an immigration paralegal. Immigration paralegals are required to possess a good level of critical thinking and intellectual capacity because immigration is considered one of the most difficult legal subjects to understand.
Many law firms and attorneys that specialize in this area of law are considering hiring immigration paralegals because the regulations are continually changing at the state and federal levels, and thousands of people are dealing with these changes. To help immigrants navigate the complicated citizenship process, an immigration paralegal will collaborate closely with attorneys. They will carry out a variety of legal duties associated with immigration, including understanding new laws and regulations as they are developed. You must grasp some of the fundamental responsibilities and requirements of an immigration paralegal if you are interested in working in this highly sought-after legal sector. Immigration paralegals are also known as immigration legal assistants.
Because there are so many distinct areas of immigration one needs to be knowledgeable about makes immigration law quite complicated. People immigrate to the country in a variety of methods, and almost all of them require assistance through the immigration system. The duties of immigrant paralegals differ from those of other types of paralegals in that they may also participate in strategy sessions and create legal documents as well as grasp the many routes to citizenship and immigration. Immigration paralegals require several key abilities more than nearly any other type of paralegal. You must, for instance, be able to read and comprehend complex government documents that detail immigration regulations. Speaking several languages is also a valuable ability for immigration paralegals because you might work with clients who don’t speak English well or who don’t speak it as their first language. You could also pursue paralegal schooling to improve your chances of being employed by a law firm that handles immigration.
You should earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies rather than a paralegal certificate. You should know immigration applications and experience working under the supervision of a professional attorney if you want to succeed as an immigration paralegal. Excellent immigration paralegals work well as a team and support immigration lawyers with their caseloads. By taking on more responsibility, such as managing a larger caseload or managing other paralegals, immigration paralegals can develop their careers. Additionally, they can advance into management roles, such as director of an immigration law firm or head of the immigration division at a company. Some paralegals in immigration law start their own law offices. Immigration paralegals must stay current with changes in immigration law and processes to succeed in their employment. Reading legal periodicals, going to conferences, and enrolling in continuing education programs can all help them with this.
Immigration Paralegal Job Description
What is an immigration paralegal job description? An immigration paralegal job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an immigration paralegal in an organization. Below are the immigration paralegal job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an immigration paralegal job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
Immigration Paralegals are responsible for the following roles:
- Examine applications for possible problems that might provide grounds for rejection
- Inform customers of the legal procedure, including the length of time it will take to resolve their case.
- Interact directly with clients to address their concerns or provide status updates on their cases.
- Create legal paperwork, such as citizenship or residence petitions
- Look up past cases or court filings with the same parties or topics in the court records.
- Assist clients in completing forms for immigration-related petitions, such as those for citizenship, green cards, and visas, among other types of applications.
- Organize and update files for particular cases or clients, including court records and other records like birth or marriage certificates.
- Give a simplified explanation of complicated legal processes to clients who do not speak English.
- Coordinate with clients’ attorneys or other case participants
- Prepare legal documentation for court procedures, such as motions and briefs.
- Interview clients to learn more about the specifics of their case and pertinent personal background.
- Provide corporate and company divisions with advice on immigration rules.
- Take care of business personnel difficulties and immigration situations.
- Manage nonimmigrant and immigrant visa issues based on the job.
- Analyze, assess, and prepare important immigration-related legal concerns, such as labour certifications for H-1B, L-1, TN, and PERM visas.
- Choose the relevant immigrant visa petitions, then prepare them.
- Identify and fix complicated legal problems.
- Prepare difficult case matters, such as appeals, audit answers, and support letters.
- Plan and schedule cases according to priority.
- Manage and follow cases from start to finish within the allotted period.
- Review and approve all filings and papers appropriately.
- Inform the manager of the immigration program.
- Work along with immigration lawyers and the regional paralegal manager.
- Manage the caseload from case intake to processing and filing.
- Prepare applications for foreign nationals’ supplementary benefits and permanent residency.
- Process and submit petitions for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas.
- Prepare petition packets for inspection and submission.
- Obtain information on petitions and applications from outside sources.
- Inform clients of the status of their cases.
- Maintain paper records and enter information into a case management system for immigration.
- Ensure to respond to inquiries about immigration promptly, and follow submission dates.
- Bachelor’s Degree in law is required.
- Accredited paralegal certification that has state approval
- At least 2 years of work experience in law or law-related fields.
- Must have work experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney.
- Ability to work together with immigration lawyers and regional paralegal managers.
- Thorough knowledge of international passport, visa, permanent residency, and secondary benefit applications.
- Knowledge of creating petition packets for evaluation and completion.
- The capacity to handle immigration queries, collect necessary data and update clients on their status.
- Knowledge of legal jargon and immigration database programs like LawLogix and immigration
- Outstanding recordkeeping and communication skills.
- Bilingual skill is an advantage
- Communication skills: Communication skill is one of the most essential skills in this position because to obtain and disseminate information regarding the immigration procedure and the filing of paperwork, immigration paralegals communicate with clients, clerks, judges, and attorneys. Your capacity to assess and convey difficult legal material in a way that others can understand increases if you have good communication skills. It’s crucial to be able to write and talk coherently because you might need to contact clients and attorneys by phone or email. Along with ensuring consistent communication and information throughout the entire legal procedure and case, an immigration paralegal.
- Language skills: Because immigration paralegals can work with clients who speak languages other than their own, language skill is essential in this career. To effectively communicate with clients and other attorneys, immigration paralegals must possess strong language abilities. A paralegal, for instance, might be required to translate a document from Spanish to English.
- Critical thinking: The capacity to assess a situation and come up with answers is a critical thinking skill. When researching immigration law, paralegals frequently utilize critical thinking since they may need to determine which laws apply to a client’s situation and how those laws might affect the client. Immigration Paralegals can also come up with solutions to problems in clients’ situations by using critical thinking. For instance, a paralegal can advise a client to search by name rather than by date or place if they are having problems finding the documents they need for their application.
- Computer proficiency: Computer proficiency is required because many of the duties that immigration paralegals perform are with computers. Some of these duties are preparing documents, making presentations, and entering data. To accomplish their work accurately and effectively, immigration paralegals need to be computer literate.
- Litigation support: To assist attorneys and other legal professionals in the field of immigration law, immigration paralegals frequently collaborate with them. This can involve conducting research, writing documents, and getting ready for negotiations or court appearances. Strong litigation support abilities might make you a successful paralegal in this area. These abilities include things like the ability to gather evidence, run interviews, and write affidavits.
- Document preparation skills: Documents are frequently prepared by immigration paralegals for immigration lawyers to review and sign. This involves creating petitions, applications, and other forms that call for certain client data. The process of creating the necessary files with software and making sure all the relevant information is included is known as document preparation. When establishing case files for new clients, paralegals also use their document preparation skills.
- Ability to work under pressure: Immigration law is no different when it comes to the deadline pressure paralegals and lawyers generally frequently face. The field of immigration law moves quickly, and paralegals frequently handle several cases at once. This may entail putting in long hours and managing several things at once. You can better manage your time and prioritize tasks by working under pressure.
- Interpersonal skills: It takes a variety of interpersonal skills, including active listening, reliability, and empathy, to work as an immigration paralegal. You can improve your capacity to facilitate legal proceedings and client information by using these interpersonal skills while engaging with clients, colleagues, and other professionals. Interpersonal skills are used by paralegals in the course of their everyday work to ensure good work, communication, and techniques.
- Organizational skills: This skill is essential because tasks such as filing, submitting, and monitoring several documents and applications are necessary steps in the immigration process. The immigration procedure can be sped up and made sure to be correct by keeping all information, cases, and paperwork organized. As it makes it simpler to access and view files when required, being organized can also be helpful when managing many clients and cases inside the firm or office.
- Legal knowledge: Although a paralegal doesn’t give legal advice or counsel, they still need to grasp the knowledge of legal processes and constraints to properly prepare for and manage the immigration process. For immigration paralegals, the expertise they need is frequently provided by prior education and experience in assistant or internship jobs. Your comprehension of the legal system can also be strengthened and improved with additional coursework, degrees, and certificates.
- Attention to detail skills: Immigration law is a complicated area, thus paralegals in this profession frequently need to pay close attention to detail. The requirements for each sort of visa or resident status can be fairly strict under immigration rules. There are various types of employment visas, and each has its own set of requirements. An immigration paralegal who pays close attention to detail may make sure that all required paperwork is submitted and that all rules are followed.
How to Become an Immigration Paralegal
Step 1. Obtain a degree
A bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum education requirement for immigration paralegal work. A degree in political science, law, or legal services is often required of paralegals generally. Before working with customers and legal systems in the field, individuals can develop their skills and experience through education and courses that provide the fundamental information for the position. An undergraduate degree in criminal justice or a closely related field is required to work as an immigration paralegal. Once a student has earned their undergraduate degree, they can apply to law school. To be accepted into law school, a student must have received high grades in their undergraduate program. A student who wants to specialize in immigration law in law school must take seminars on citizenship, advice, interviewing techniques, and legislative analysis. Internships and other relevant work experience are essential for people who want to stand out to potential employers after completing the three-year legal school. A student must pass the resident bar test in their state of practice after receiving their law degree to practice law. Immigration paralegals must stay current with changes in immigration law and process to be able to process their employment. Reading legal periodicals, going to conferences, and enrolling in continuing education programs can all help them with this.
Step 2. Acquire training and experience
Paralegals are often sought-after as mid-level professionals by law firms. Candidates having prior experience in entry-level positions, such as paralegal internships or legal assistant positions, are preferred by hiring managers and law firms. Working as a legal assistant or intern for a few years gives you the necessary knowledge and experience to become an immigration paralegal and can improve your chances of landing a job as a paralegal for a lawyer or company. The majority of immigration-focused paralegals obtain on-the-job training from their new employers. The paralegal’s education in the firm’s procedures and policies will be aided by this training. The paralegal will also benefit from learning the unique computer systems and software that the firm use. When it’s feasible, look for internships, volunteer positions, and part-time work that will expose you to anything connected to your area of expertise. Although having any legal experience is beneficial, future employers and clients might favour knowledge of immigration law.
Step 3. Acquire certifications
Although having a specialized qualification is not necessary to work as an immigration paralegal, doing so can help you stand out to clients, especially in some jurisdictions. The level of your proficiency in immigration law is demonstrated to prospective clients by passing one certification test. For instance, immigration paralegals in the United States must be certified as paralegals and have a license to practice law. You will also need to pass the National Immigration Specialist Certification Program (NISCP) exam to work for many employers. Each state has its criteria for certification and licensing. There are numerous more certification programs offered online that can give you extra expertise, including how to manage your own immigration paralegal help business, different immigration law-related ethical standards, and the most effective strategies to break down communication obstacles.
Step 4. Apply to work with attorneys
Immigration paralegals operate within offices to help lawyers and clients with the formalities of immigration. You can work with the lawyer and clients by locating and applying for opportunities at an immigration attorney’s business or office. Getting a job in a law firm offers the guidance, organization, and employment required for a career as an immigration paralegal.
Where to Work as an Immigration Paralegal
Immigration paralegals are typically employed in public or private law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, or immigration offices. The majority of them work full-time, while some may put in more than 40 hours a week to satisfy demands. Since many paralegals work together with attorneys, they must be able to get along with other immigration officials to achieve their aim.
Immigration Paralegal Salary Scale
The salaries of Immigration Paralegals Salary significantly vary depending on many vital factors, including the level of education, certifications, skill set, and experience.
In the US, the average Immigration Paralegal salary annually is $57,673, but the amount ranges between $48,370 and $82,667 per year. The average Immigration Paralegal salary in the UK is £24509 per year and the salary range from £18000 to £36500 per year. The average Immigration Paralegal salary in Canada is $43,875 per year. While the entry-level positions start at $36,205 per year, the experienced level positive can make up to $52,982 per year. The average salary for an Immigration Paralegal is typically €58,267 a year in Germany. The average salary range is between €41,078 and €70,619 per year. The average Immigration Paralegal salary in Australia is $55,569, but the salary scale typically falls between $49,144 and $62,745 per year. An immigration Paralegal’s salary in India earns an average amount of ₹ 4.8 Lakhs. per year. The salaries range from ₹ 1.3 Lakhs to ₹ 13.0 Lakhs. Immigration Paralegals in Nigeria typically earn around 3,060,000 NGN NGN per year. Their Salaries range from 1,596,000 NGN to 4,680,000 NGN per year.