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How do I Become an Immigration Consultant?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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The requirements to become an immigration consultant differ according to the country in which you will work. Taking training courses, getting a law degree, and applying for membership in your country's immigration services association are important steps on the path to become an immigration consultant. These requirements generally apply to immigration consultant training in most countries.

The first step is to seek training from immigration consultant schools in your area. It is important to seek training at accredited institutions. In many cases, only graduates from accredited schools are recognized as legitimate immigration consultants.

In addition to brick-and-mortar schools, there are many immigration consultant training courses available online. These schools give you the technical knowledge required to navigate clients through your country's immigration procedures. From how to process work sponsorship visas to how to handle green card applications issued in the United States, such courses are invaluable to aspiring immigration consultants. Another benefit is that these classes will teach you obscure terms and vocabulary used in the immigration and naturalization fields.

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To become an immigration consultant, securing a juris doctor (JD) degree might also come in handy. For example, in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office only accepts clients who are represented by a practicing immigration lawyer or a representative affiliated with the USCIS organization, such as an immigration paralegal. Any other consultant cannot represent clients in the U.S., though they may give out immigration information and advice to newcomers and aspiring U.S. citizens.

Naturally, applying for accreditation or membership in your country's immigration consultant association is paramount. For example, in Canada consultants must seek certification from the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC). If your country does not have an official immigration consultant association, try to find a program or group of professional immigration consultants in your area. Networking with other consultants can help you learn how best to advise clients.

The main factor that is absolutely necessary if you wish to become an immigration consultant is establishing your credibility to the general public as well as to your country's immigration services organization. There are many fraudulent consultants, sometimes referred to as notaries, who claim to offer sound immigration advice when, in reality, they are not qualified to do so. Seeking immigration policy training or an immigration law education from reputable organizations and established law schools will go a long way in helping you become a successful immigration consultant.

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Ana1234
Post 3

@browncoat - I actually hope more people do enter this line of work with the intention and ability to help people. Not because I'm a huge fan of immigration per sec (although I have nothing against it either) but just because there are so many frauds out there.

We're always hearing about it on the news. Someone will have pretended to be a consultant and will have been giving out fake visas or some other kind of fake documents in return for massive amounts of money and people who can afford it least will end up paying for it.

It makes me really sad and angry, actually, because it's bad enough stealing from the rich, but you have to be real scum to steal from refugees, or people who are hoping to make a new life for themselves.

If there were more, better options for those people in the form of consultants with integrity that would be a good thing.

browncoat
Post 2

@croydon - Well, I'm sure that happens sometimes, but most of the time immigration to a country is such a long and complex process that there is going to be some way for a consultant to help people. So, if anything, you'd be helping people to make their dreams come true.

I think it could be a fulfilling job actually, since you'd probably be working with a lot of people who are hoping for a new life somewhere. But it would also be extremely frustrating. They deliberately make immigration applications dense and slow so that people will be discouraged from applying. Actually choosing to be a consultant on that process doesn't seem like the brightest idea to me.

croydon
Post 1

I imagine this can be a really heart breaking job and it's definitely not one that I'd want to go into. I've known too many people who desperately wanted to get into a country and were turned down because they didn't meet the requirements.

Some countries, in particular, can be quite brutal. I know the Canadian immigration process is one of them. And as a consultant you'd hear from all those people who had their dreams shattered and, most of the time, be unable to help them at all.

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