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Immigration adviser (non-government)

Alternative titles for this job include Immigration case worker

Immigration advisers give advice on asylum claims, nationality, citizenship, deportation and employment, and represent clients in court.

Average salary (a year)

£22,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends as customers demand

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an immigration adviser (non-government)

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

Apprenticeship

You could train to be a legal executive through a chartered legal executive degree apprenticeship, or train to be a solicitor through a solicitor degree apprenticeship.

You could specialise in immigration cases after completing your apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a degree apprenticeship

More Information

Volunteering

Getting experience in an organisation that works with immigrants and asylum seekers will help you when you apply for jobs or training. You may wish to volunteer with organisations like:

Direct Application

To specialise in immigration as a legal executive, it'll help if you can find a job with a firm that deals with immigration and asylum issues, whilst training. You can find more information about qualifying from the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

To specialise in immigration as a barrister or solicitor, it would be useful if you could do some of your training in this area of work. You can find more information about solicitor and barrister training from The Law Society and The Bar Council.

Other Routes

You do not have to have a law degree, or any degree, to give immigration advice regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

This may be a quicker route and you can decide which areas of immigration, asylum and nationality law you want to do. The 3 levels of regulation are:

  • level 1 - basic immigration advice within the Immigration Rules - a minimum of 3 months' or 40 hours' experience gained in the last 2 years
  • level 2 - more complex work, including applications outside the Immigration Rules - a minimum of 12 months' or 120 hours' experience
  • level 3 - includes appeals work and a minimum of 24 months' or 240 hours' experience

To register with the OISC, you'll need to attend training, pass an exam and meet their standards.

More Information

Registration

Career tips

It may be an advantage if you can speak another language.

Immigration advisers are employed by a range of organisations like legal companies, charities and community organisations.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about how to get into immigration advice work from the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • legal knowledge including court procedures and government regulations
  • knowledge of public safety and security
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • find out the facts of a case
  • decide the urgency of a case
  • make enquiries on behalf of clients
  • help with application forms
  • contact relevant authorities
  • explain options and next steps to clients
  • draft grounds for appeal and witness statements
  • represent clients in tribunals

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a prison, at a client's home or at a client's business.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could work on more complex and high-profile cases.

You could specialise in a particular area, like working with children, providing consular services or advising international students at a university.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

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