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How to Become an Immigration Lawyer in Canada?

June 12, 2022BY Faisal Mustafa

Want to make a difference as an immigration lawyer while having a long-term career? Let’s find out how to become an immigration lawyer in Canada.

What are the Duties of an Immigration Lawyer?

Every immigration lawyer’s job entails assisting immigrants in obtaining a green card. That allows them to work and reside in Canada under settled political asylum.

They also assist and defend illegal immigrants to be accepted as naturalized citizens. Some of the everyday tasks you will be performing as a lawyer are—

  • Meet with clients
  • Interpret cases and scenarios
  • Interview clients
  • Write motions
  • Formulate forms
  • Find ways to win cases in court

You must be wondering what I should major in to become an immigration lawyer? You will find that out in the following section.

How to Become an Immigration Lawyer in Canada: 6 Steps

You must obtain the appropriate degrees in order to practice immigration. To get to the stage where you will start giving legal help, you’ll need to complete a few steps. In line with that, becoming a lawyer necessitates the completion of six major steps.

In the following sections, you’ll learn about them one by one. And you gradually will know how to become an immigrant lawyer. Let’s open out the first step.

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

To become an immigration lawyer, you must earn a bachelor’s degree before enrolling in law school. Gladly, you can get a bachelor’s degree in any concentration.

These concentrations will make it easier for you to get into law school. Also, you can gain valuable skills and knowledge essential for an advanced career.

You should consider the following concentrations for your undergraduate studies:

  • History
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Economics and political science
  • International research

These fields of study include labor laws, immigration politics, and the most common reasons for immigration. They also help you develop strong writing and critical thinking ability, which are beneficial to all lawyers.

2. Obtain a Juris Doctorate Degree

After earning your bachelor’s degree, it’s time to get admitted to law school to earn your J.D. If you have the opportunity, choose an immigration law concentration or specialization to prepare yourself for your future career. In other words, you need to enroll in an immigration lawyer course in Canada.

Technically, that’s not required to become an immigration lawyer. It will be helpful for you to become experienced in the field. Also, it will be useful once you have obtained your law license.

3. Gain practical experience

You should try to gather hands-on experiences while you will be studying law. Not to mention same applies to the time after you graduate with a degree in law. In fact, you should always look for opportunities to obtain practical experience because both clients and employers will hire you by checking your experiences and success rates.

That’s why, wherever possible, seek volunteer opportunities, internships, and part-time jobs closely related to what you specialize in.

So, in your case, you have to search for opportunities that allow you to practice immigration laws. Nevertheless, any sort of experience related to the law will be good for your career. But the best would be to gather experience with immigration law. And I already stated that’s what your future clients and employer will look for.

4. Keep on developing your skills

Gathering your academic skills or law knowledge is not sufficient. You need to work on developing your various skills as a lawyer in the meantime, your work, and study.

Try to develop the following skill as a lawyer—

  • Public speaking
  • Researching
  • Reading and writing
  • Analytical ability
  • Problem-solving

You are supposed to have those skills as a lawyer. However, as an immigration lawyer, you are expected to have the following skills—

  • Learning various language
  • Social media literacy
  • Excellent listening skills

Tips for achieving the skills

You will already have half of the skills developed after becoming a lawyer. But you have to put in the extra effort to learn more languages.

The good news is – these days, you don’t need to attend classes to learn languages physically. There are various apps dedicated to teaching languages.

Moreover, you can browse online resources in necessary. Most of them are free. Generally, you can reach up to the intermediate level of a language. That way, you can communicate with people with a broken language and still get the message across.

Amazingly, people sometimes become advanced learners as well just by using apps and free online resources. Regardless, if you need more help, you can collect paid material. In addition, you can go to a local community college to gain a specific skill necessary for your sector.

5. Earn additional certificates

It’s not strictly required to earn extra certification in order to become an immigration lawyer. Yet, additional certificates will go a long way. Hence, if you can obtain a few more certificates, they will enhance your recognition.

Plainly, you will be more desired by clients this way. Significantly, gaining certificates outside your academic degres will help a big deal while working in some specific states.

Consider this –you have opportunities to sit for bar exams. You can obtain a certificate for that exam and get officially included in the bar association of a specific state. This way, you can demonstrate your competence to your clients as a lawyer.

Also, there are different kinds of practical online courses that you complete to acquire additional knowledge. For instance, you might want to run your own office to provide people with immigration paralegal assistance.

Furthermore, there are ethical codes related to immigration law that you could learn. On top of that, you must know how to overcome communication barriers.

These are just a couple of examples for additional knowledge. You will come across more once you start your career.

6. Look for clients

The last step is to father clients. And you can do it after completing your education and getting into a bar association in the area you aim to practice in.

In order to have clients, you will have two options. One is you join an existing law firm that practices immigration laws. Or you can get ready to become a successful solo immigration law practitioner.

The two options have their own advantages. Let’s say you have joined a law firm. In that circumstance, you will have support for gaining clients. Also, you can start working with them as soon as you enter.

You will have more flexibility if you plan to be an independent immigration law practitioner. I mean, you will have the upper hand in terms of when and where you will work.

Final Thoughts

As an immigration lawyer, you will have more career and life opportunities. However, competing in this highly competitive industry is difficult. But it’s possible if you do it with passion.

We have already mentioned the six major stages of becoming an immigration lawyer in Canada. Keep in mind that immigration lawyers are in high demand. It will undoubtedly pay off if you put in the effort.


In case you have more queries, look at the questions below. They will provide you with extra information.

What type of lawyer gets paid most?

Medical lawyers have the highest median salaries of any legal profession. They earn $138,431 on average. A medical attorney’s duties and wages will vary depending on the organization for which they work. Medical lawyers represent hospitals and medical corporations. Also, some take care of medical malpractice or personal injury cases.

Is an immigration lawyer worth it in Canada?

In Canada, the average annual salary for an immigration lawyer is $63,375, or $32.50 per hour. Entry-level jobs start at $55,000 per year, with the highest-paid employees earning up to $98,375 per year. That’s a decent amount to earn as a lawyer. Besides, if you love your job, it will surely be worth it in Canada.

Where can I study immigration law in Canada?

You can attend any reputable law school in Canada. However, the best decision would be to choose a law school in the area where you want to practice law. Let’s say you want to practice in Ontario. Then you need to attend a law school in that province.

What do immigration lawyers do?

Immigration laws focus on who can enter Canada and how long one is allowed to stay. Also, they deal with noncitizens’ legal rights and responsibilities while residing in Canada.

Additionally, individual and business clients are represented by immigration lawyers before the board of immigration appeals. They can also represent you in immigration and federal circuit courts on matters involving— immigration, emigration, visas, green cards, adjustment of status, political asylum, and other critical immigration and naturalization issues.

Furthermore, domestic and international corporations take help from immigration lawyers to transfer noncitizen employees from foreign offices to Canada and hire noncitizens in domestic offices.

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    Frequently Asked Question

    To get permanent residency, you have to live for at least three years in Canada. You also need some other documents to apply for Citizenship.

    In generally takes six months to get the citizenship after taking the Citizenship Test and Interview.

    People aged between 18 to 54 have to take the citizenship test and Interview.

    Oath taking ceremony generally takes 45 to 60 mins to complete. However, the time may vary upon the number of applicants and citizens.

    Yes, any Citizen who is a Canadain Citizen can renounce his citizenship status if he wants. He may apply for renouncing the citizenship under certain conditions.

    The answer is yes. You can again apply to resume your Citizenship status though you have renounced it once.

    The total fees for applying for Citizenship in Canada is CAN $ 630. Among the prices, $530 is for processing fee, and $100 is for the right of  Citizenship fee. But for minors aged under 18, the processing fee is $100.