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How do I Become an Immigration Adviser?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 31 August 2017
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To become an immigration adviser, you must have a sound grasp and comprehensive understanding of your country's immigration policies and regulations. An immigration adviser or immigration consultant usually works for either universities, helping to integrate foreign students and professors into the school's programs, or for corporations, helping foreign employees obtain working visas. If you want to successfully become an immigration adviser, then that often means getting a juris doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school. You should also learn one or more foreign languages, preferably the language of the emigrate base for which you would like to consult.

Obtaining a law degree will open up many doors for the intelligent professional who seeks to become an immigration adviser. While a JD degree is unnecessary for work as a university immigration consultant, it becomes very useful for corporate and government jobs. Immigration problems in these spheres are more complex and require that the consultant has a greater understanding of immigration law and procedure.

In law school you will learn how to draw up contracts, interpret the minutiae of the law, argue for clients, and more. Many graduate level legal programs offer specialized courses in immigration law. These courses will prepare you for the tough cases that you will encounter in the real world, such as helping a high-profile executive acclimate to a new position in another company or helping political refugees settle in a new country. In addition, there will be many opportunities while in law school to take summer internships at an immigration advisory center or a law firm that specializes in assisting immigrants. Prepare yourself to secure these opportunities early on in your law school career so that you can dive headfirst into the world of immigration law as an aspiring immigration adviser.

If you would rather become an immigration adviser in an academic setting, there are numerous jobs available to you. These jobs are usually titled as "international applicant adviser" or "international scholar adviser". A law degree is not required for these positions, but it is expected that you will have at least bachelor's degree. You should be bilingual or multilingual and able to communicate with immigrants from specific countries. Depending on the university, such countries may include China, Japan, most Latin American countries, and most Middle Eastern countries, as students and professors from these areas would more than likely need an immigration adviser who can speak their language.

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