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What does immigration law pay?

the california immigration attorney It’s no secret that legal careers tend to pay well, though individual lawyers’ salaries can vary considerably, even within the same legal specialty, like immigration law. The services you offer, clientele you serve, and area of the country you practice in can all affect earning potential. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median annual wage for all lawyers is about $120,000. Median salaries top $140,000 for those employed by the federal government, while pay for state and local government ranges from $85,000 to $93,000 annually. Lawyers employed by large, successful law firms or big corporations tend to earn more than those who own their own practices or work for nonprofit organizations. Earnings for some lawyers who specialize in immigration may be lower than the average for lawyers in general. An attorney who accepts a position with a small immigration nonprofit, for example, may choose that option with the understanding that while the salary is lower than average, the work offers the opportunity to serve people in life-altering situations who lack the resources to obtain legal assistance otherwise. Not to mention the satisfaction rates are consistently higher for public interest lawyers. Many immigration lawyers go into solo practice as well.

Where can I learn more?

There are certainly plenty of online resources to help you learn more about becoming an immigration lawyer; however, you may find it’s helpful to start by connecting with people in the field. This might mean conducting an informational interview with a working immigration lawyer, perhaps through your undergraduate institution (ask the career or alumni offices at your school). Conversations with law school representatives can also be revealing, and it’s often easy to contact law school admissions folks and even professors directly. You might also get a chance to chat about immigration law at a law school fair. Another helpful resource is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a national organization of more than 15,000 attorneys and educators who practice and teach immigration law. This nonpartisan nonprofit provides continuing legal education, information, and professional services. Its goals are to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.  As you explore immigration law through these and other resources, you may find it offers the right career potential for you.

What If You Can't Figure Out Your Options?

Let's say that you are a skilled worker, or an employer hoping to hire one. A worker could potentially qualify for multiple visas or types of green cards, but its difficult to know which is best, or fastest. An immigration attorney can help the employer and worker decide which visa best suits the employer's needs and the worker's qualifications. Similar issues might come up in family-based or other types of visa situations. For instance, an engaged person might have a choice of getting married first, then entering the U.S. on an immigrant visa (with an immediate right to a green card) or getting a K-1 fiance visa (which allows entry in order to get married and later apply for the green card through a procedure known as adjustment of status.) But which is faster or more advantageous depends on current government fees, procedures, and processing times Immigration Lawyer.

Are an Employer Looking to Hire Foreign-Born Workers?

As a busy business owner, your time is likely not well spent puzzling out the details of immigration law. Let's say, for example, that you're hoping to sponsor a worker for a green card, which requires completing the labor certification (PERM) process. You will be expected to place advertisements for the job. The advertisement process is complicated, as only certain types of ads are acceptable, the ads must contain specific language, and there are many time frames and deadlines involved. It's easy to get it wrong. Additionally, the PERM application (ETA Form 9089) is complex. Employers find it difficult to understand how to complete the required Form 9089. (You can learn more about the PERM process at Employer Recruitment Responsibilities Under PERM.) There's no room for even the smallest mistake when completing Form 9089. Almost any error will result in a denial; even it it's a one-cent difference in the worker's salary. Many immigration attorneys specialize in the ins and outs of the Form 9089 and are available to assist employers throughout the PERM process and other types of work-visa applications.

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