Oftentimes when people migrate from one country to another, there may be certain laws in place that must be properly executed for them to be able to legally stay. Issues with visas and permits can cause someone who wants to live in one country to be forced to go back to his native land. Immigration consultants are instrumental in giving those who want to become permanent residents the tools and guidance needed to confidently follow the legal proceedings for residency.
Duties and Responsibilities
Immigration consultants are responsible for providing advice and information to those wanting to stay in the country about visa and work permit requirements, green cards and any legal issues that can occur while staying in the current country. Consultants must also be able to translate documents and explain them to potential residents.
Immigration Consultants vs. Lawyers
Immigration consultants perform similar tasks as lawyers; however, immigration consultants cannot represent immigrants in any immigration proceedings nor can they offer any legal advice about immigration interviews or immigration benefits. They also cannot refer to themselves as legal experts on immigration procedure, and they must charge fees that are reasonable based upon their state of employment if they are working independently.
Consultants should possess excellent communication skills, advanced speaking and written skills of the native language of the country in which they are working. Computer and data entry skills, telephone etiquette, flexibility and a confident personality are also desired skills for an immigration consulting position. An immigration consultant must also convey and explain information in an understandable format. Patience and problem-solving skills are also necessary. A general understanding and interest in law is beneficial.
Some immigration consultants have extensive education while others do not. If your interest is to become an immigration consultant and be promoted to higher positions, obtaining a degree in political science, sociology and other related fields are suggested. Also consider becoming a prelaw major if you would like to transition from immigration consulting to immigration law.
On average, immigration consultants can make approximately £44,850 per year, according to a 2010 report by Simply Hired. Immigration consultants may operate under different titles. Related titles include special assistant with an average salary of £43,550 annually and also a management and program analyst with an annual salary of £42,250.
Where to Find Employment
Many immigration consultants work in law offices. They can apply to work as paralegals and many are consultants for immigration attorneys. Immigration consultants can also work in various consulates throughout the country. Immigrants may be able to visit the consulate representing their nationality for immigration procedures and questions. Immigration consultants can apply directly with the consulate general of the nationality they are interested.