Immigration solicitors are one of the many types of solicitors that operate in the United Kingdom. If you are interested in a career in law in the United Kingdom, then you might want to think about becoming a specialist in immigration law.
What is an immigration solicitor?
There are a lot of laws governing who is allowed to come to the United Kingdom, who can work in the United Kingdom, and who is permitted to stay here. Sometimes the laws in an area can contradict one another, and this often occurs when immigration is involved.
An immigration solicitor should be able to keep up with all of the current rules and regulations that surround moving to the United Kingdom. Immigration solicitors may work outside of the country to help people from other countries to prepare the necessary documentation to give them the best possible case for being accepted into the country. If a visa is refused for any reason, they may be able to work with that person to help to prepare an appeal. The appeal process is more likely to be successful if the applicant is working with someone who has a thorough understanding of immigration law.
Immigration solicitors may also work with UK citizens who want to bring foreign nationals into the country for family reasons, for example, British people who would like to bring a foreign spouse to the United Kingdom with them. These cases are not always clear cut, so families need a solicitor to help them.
Immigration solicitors also deal with cases where clients have been threatened with deportation. This can occur when people have not filled out their papers correctly or failed to meet the required criteria to remain. Anyone who has been threatened with deportation is recommended to consult with a trained immigration solicitor as soon as possible to find out what options are available to them.
How to qualify to become an immigration solicitor?
Most people who train to become an immigration solicitor will do an undergraduate degree in Law, and then complete the vocational stages of training, known as the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
It is also possible to do an undergraduate degree in any other subject and then do a postgraduate conversion course before completing the LPC. Depending on where you go to study, you may be given the option to take an elective module in immigration law. Alternatively, some postgraduate degrees are available in the United Kingdom which specialise in immigration law. If you cannot do either of these options, you must try to get a training contract with a solicitors’ firm which specialises in dealing with immigration cases.
For any trainee solicitor, the choice of training contract is very important, because it will help to give you the practical experience that you will need to carry on your career.
How much does an immigration solicitor earn?
There is a wide spectrum of earnings between immigration solicitors in the United Kingdom. There is no minimum (other than the national minimum wage) for trainee solicitors who are on a training contract, however high profile immigration solicitors can earn six figure salaries.
The salary of an immigration solicitor can depend on where they work. For example, an in-house immigration solicitor who works in the recruitment or legal department of a large multi-national business is likely to earn a lot more money than an independent immigration solicitor who works on behalf of one of the immigration charities which is operating in the United Kingdom.
Many people who train to be immigration solicitors do so for ethic reasons, rather than because they hope to be a big earner.