How to Become an Immigration Adviser

An immigration adviser, or immigration consultant, helps people to complete the immigration process. They can furnish documents and instruct people in how to fill them out and submit them. An immigration adviser is unable to offer legal advice and must be sure not to perform the duties of a lawyer. Only California, Utah, Michigan, Georgia and New York allow people to work as immigration consultants without a law degree. You must register with the state and provide the necessary bonds. Find out how to become an immigration adviser.


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    Earn a bachelor's degree. A high school diploma is the lowest amount of education you will need, because you will need it to register for college classes. Earning a bachelor's degree in business, foreign language or communications will give you the opportunity to earn a law degree in the future.
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    Move to a state that allows immigration advising. Each state has their own regulations governing immigration professionals, so check the California, Utah, New York, Michigan or Georgia Secretary of State website.
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    Learn to speak foreign languages. Research the variety of languages that are spoken in your area, and begin learning them. Learning Spanish, Mandarin, Portuguese and other languages will increase your client base.
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    Train in immigration issues. You may want to enroll in immigration law courses in order to understand where your services end and a lawyer's begin. Search for instructional websites or courses on filling out common types of immigration forms.
    • Alternatively, you can choose to earn a law degree. If you want to provide legal advice, you can earn a general law degree and choose electives in immigration and citizenship issues. Law schools near the coasts, and in areas with high numbers of immigrants, are likely to offer a larger number of immigration courses.
    • Earning a law degree will raise your projected salary and number of potential clients. Many people seeking immigration require immigration advice about what type of immigration to apply for and what to fill out. Immigration advisers are unable to offer this advice.
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    Apply to be a notary public. This state-authorized position allows you to sign and authenticate documents with the use of a special seal. You may be required to submit an application, a recommendation and fees.
    • In some states you may be required to take courses in ethics and business in order to become a notary public. You can contact the National Notary Association (NNA) to inquire about programs. Once completed, you will receive a certificate that you can submit to the state.
    • A notary can provide services for a fee, so it can become part of your immigration adviser services. A notary must keep track of every use of their seal in a log book.
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    Obtain a surety bond worth between $30,000 and $100,000. Consult your Secretary of State to confirm the amount that is necessary to practice.
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    Submit your application to become a licensed immigration adviser. Submit proof of a surety bond, citizenship and experience to your Secretary of State.
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    Pass a background check. The state licensing board will submit your fingerprints to authorities. You may be required to scan your fingerprints in person.
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    Establish your credibility. The immigration advisory market is fraught with scams and illegal services. Create a website that lists your services and references.
    • Hang your surety bond and license in your workplace. Working from an office and/or with an immigration center is an excellent way to earn clients and prove your legitimacy.


  • Never offer legal advice if you do not have a law degree. Immigration consultants frequently lose their licenses for telling people what immigration path to take. Recommend the services of a lawyer immediately, if a client has legal questions.

Things You'll Need

  • High school diploma
  • Bachelor's degree (optional)
  • Law degree (optional)
  • Notary public application
  • Surety bond
  • License application
  • Background check
  • Photo identification
  • Fees
  • Language classes
  • Immigration courses
  • Website
  • Office space

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