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IMMIGRATION PARALEGAL CAREERS AND CERTIFICATION

Learn what you’ll do as an immigration paralegal.

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Although immigration paralegals can’t give legal advice, they’re an important part of the immigration process for people looking for legal status in the U.S.

You’ll need in-depth knowledge of immigration laws, but what else is required to work as a paralegal? Keep reading to find out. Plus, get information on salary and job outlook for this career.

Duties of an Immigration Paralegal

Immigration paralegals usually work for government agencies, or for firms that focus on immigration law. An immigration paralegal works with immigration attorneys in the process of helping clients through the citizenship process or in deportation proceedings.

Duties may include:

  • Obtaining foreign documents
  • Translation
  • Obtaining visas
  • Researching
  • Summarizing cases
  • Maintaining public access files
  • Updating clients of progress, answering their questions, or preparing paperwork

Knowledge of other cultures or a second language is beneficial in this specialization, and familiarity with immigration law is needed.

Immigration Paralegal Education

Earning a college degree, either an associate’s or bachelor’s in paralegal studies, can make you more marketable in your job search.

Certification programs are also available. 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.

Additional instruction in immigration law is also available to gain a head start into this specialty.

Salary and Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics, the average national annual salary for paralegals and legal assistants is $55,020.

Employment for paralegals is expected to grow 10% through 2029, faster than average for all occupations. This growth is attributed to the fact that law firms are hiring paralegals as a cost-saving measure.

Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience, and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.