What Does an Immigration Attorney Do?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2018
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An immigration attorney is a licensed lawyer who specializes in the complex world of immigration law. Some of the main duties an immigration lawyer may have include helping clients with visa applications and issues, fighting deportation of clients, and helping businesses manage immigration problems relating to international expansion. One of the most important jobs of any immigration attorney is to help clients understand the complicated but pertinent laws and procedures, to ensure they have the best chance of settling immigration issues quickly and satisfactorily.

Some immigration attorneys focus solely on the issues surrounding visas and immigration permits. Obtaining visas for foreign spouses or children, extending existing work or student visas, or fighting the unlawful denial of a visa are some of the issues a visa specialist immigration attorney may face on a daily basis. In addition to going to court and liaising with immigration and judicial officials, an attorney may assist clients with filling out and filing visa applications in a correct and timely manner.


Deportation is a central issue for many immigration attorneys, who may spend their career fighting to have unlawful threats of deportation overturned. An immigration lawyer can help a client understand the process of deportation and make sure that any legal proceedings are conducted fairly and within the confines of the law. Some deportation lawyers may also work on the flip side of the issue, assisting governments and law enforcement officers in ensuring that immigrants who have broken laws or falsified visa information are not permitted to remain in the country. Even if an immigrant is being lawfully deported, an immigration lawyer may be on hand to ensure that the person being deported is treated humanely and according to law.

Some attorneys may choose to split their focus between immigration issues and business law. These lawyers may serve as in-house counsels or hired attorneys to help plan and execute the process of a business's expansion to another country. If employees of a business are being sent to another nation for training or education, an immigration and business lawyer may also be able to help with documentation and visa paperwork. Businesses that operate in multiple countries may have an immigration attorney in residence to help with any ongoing or regular issues.

In performing his or her duties, an immigration attorney must be able to navigate the evolving world of immigration law for the good of a client. In many cases, lawyers in this specialty work with clients who speak other languages, are new to the country, and have great fear or anxiety about the immigration process. Good communication skills, language fluency, and a commitment to helping others are all qualities that can help an immigration lawyer be effective and successful in his or her work.



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