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.
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.