Visa Crunch

How to Immigrate to the United States as a Lawyer by profession

Suppose you are looking towards immigrating to the United States as a Lawyer. In that case, you have an advantage as the US considers people with education or experience of a Lawyer as a skilled labourer. Skilled foreign nationals have several pathways to immigrate to the United States.

By definition, a Lawyer is the one who represents clients in criminal and civil litigation and other types of civil proceedings, manages or advises clients in different legal transactions, draws up legal documents, to sum it up Lawyers are the one that practises the law. As per United States requirements, qualified lawyers need to go to Law school and pass the Bar exam to be able to practise law. Lawyers can specialize in a single type of law or practise in multiple areas of law. 

Requirements for a United States Lawyer

The general process to become a qualified lawyer in the United States is to attend and graduate from a Law School, Register with the State Bar Council, Take and pass the Bar Exam, and fulfil the remaining requirements. 

Each State in the United States has varied requirements for becoming a Lawyer. If a foreigner wants to become a Lawyer in the United States, they need to decide a State where they want to practise, then register with that State Bar Council and pass the Bar examination where they want to practise law. Popular states where immigrants practise law are California and New York as they have flexible requirements for foreign lawyers. 

The SOC Code for Lawyers is 23-1011 of the Major Occupation Category of “Legal Occupations” with the Salary Average ranging from $45,000 to $160,000 per year. 

Steps to Immigrate to the US to be an Advocate

1) Get an Immigration Lawyer – You would have to fulfil a lot of requirements and documents for immigrating and working in the US. An Immigration Lawyer will have you straighten out the complexities in the process, acquire required paperwork and find the best path to reach the United States. 

2) Select a State to live – The requirement for being a qualified lawyer in each state is different, so select a state which meets your criteria. 

3) Pass the Bar exam – Pass the bar exam from the state you have selected

Visa categories for Advocates Immigrating to the US – 

1) Permanent Residency – You can have several options in this category based on your unique scenario 

2) Working Visa – H-1B Visa is used to employee eligible educated lawyers and work in the United States 

3) Treaty Visa – Several countries have a treaty with the United States to Immigrate their citizens. For example, Mexican can get the TN Visa, Australians the E-3 Visa, Singaporeans and Chilians the H-1B1 Visa and citizens from 50 other countries can apply for E-3 or E-1 Visa.

4) Training Visa – F-1 Student Visa, which allows 1-year training with OPT after graduating or J-1 Exchange visitor trainee Visa. 

5) Business Visa – A advocate can visit the United States on the B-1 Business Visa. The B-1 visa permits the Lawyer to sit in meetings, consult with clients, assist clients in negotiating, independent research and help find the client investment opportunities 

6) Extraordinary Visa – O-1 Extraordinary Visa allows people who show extraordinary abilities to enter the United States. 

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