National Avg. Salary

$136,260 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

5.6% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

PhD or Professional Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Get to Travel
  • Growing Industry
  • High Income Potential

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An immigration lawyer is an attorney that specializes with cases related to immigration.  They assist their clients with things like attaining legal immigration status, citizenship and any other legal issues pertaining to immigration.

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Job Description

The following responsibilities are common for Immigration Lawyers:

  • Assists foreign nationals with with applications to potentially become citizens
  • Helps defend clients facing deportation and assists with appeals to legally stay in the country
  • Helps clients apply for Visas and work permits
  • Drafts legal documents, subpoenas and requests discovery if applicable
  • Interviews clients to assist them to the best of their ability with citizenship cases

A Day In The Life

Immigration attorneys advise clients on citizenship, immigration, migration, political asylum and also assist with the process of securing work and student visas.  On any given day they may help a client looking to file for a student visa or appealing for a denial of citizenship.

For individuals applying for a green card, the attorney walks their client through the process, which can possibly take years.  The attorney ensures that the employer satisfies the Department of Labor recruiting stipulations and completes and files all the necessary and proper paperwork.  Sometimes companies will hire these attorneys to assist them in obtaining work visa for foreign nationals.  They advise the company to make sure they are in compliance with the U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services statutes.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time, 40 hour work week position that often requires some light travel and appearances in court will also be necessary.  Depending on the attorneys case load, extra hours may be required.

Projected Job Growth

Immigration law has become a more pressing issue over the last few years, and these lawyers are essential in ensuring due process of undocumented and documented immigrants.  This career path will rapidly increase as new immigration statutes and laws come into place.

Typical Employers

Immigration lawyer typically work for private or corporate law firms.  They also may work for government agencies or even own their own law practice.

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Immigration Lawyer Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range

$76,300

Average

$136,260

High Range

---

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$37/hr

Average

$66/hr

High Range

---

How do Immigration Lawyer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Immigration Lawyer's can make an average annual salary of $136,260, or $66 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $76,300 or $37 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #22 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

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How To Become

In order to practice immigration law, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a related subject.  After receiving an undergraduate degree a student then can apply to law school.  A student must have exceptional grades in their undergraduate program to be accepted into law school.  During law school, in order to specialize in immigration, a student will be required to take classes like citizenship, advising, interviewing skills, and statutory analysis.  After studying for the three year law program, internships and other applicable work experience are vital for individuals that want to stand out to potential employers.  Once a students law degree is obtained they must then take the practicing states resident Bar exam in order to practice law.


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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree

    PhD or Professional

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Immigration Lawyer. a PhD or Professional is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Immigration Lawyer

  • 91%   Doctorate
  • 4.1%   Masters
  • 3.5%   Bachelors
  • 0.5%   Associates
  • 0.4%   College
  • 0.4%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

778,700

2024 Est. Jobs

822,500

Job Growth Rate

5.6%

Est. New Jobs

43,800

How does Immigration Lawyer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 43,800 jobs for a total of 822,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #401 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

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What Companies Employ The Most Immigration Lawyers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Legal services 376,100 22,100 22%
Self-employed workers 165,500 -1,800 -2%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 55,600 5,300 5%

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