- Immigration paralegals are attorneys’ right hand during complex immigration processes.
- The main role of immigration paralegals is to gather, organize, and file all necessary legal paperwork.
- Immigration paralegals act on behalf of the attorney when explaining the immigration process to the client.
- Typically, immigration paralegals are employed at non-profits, government agencies, and private law firms.
- Often, immigration paralegals are bilingual, which is helpful in correspondence with non-English clients.
Immigration paralegals work closely with immigration attorneys and are a liaison between the clients and their legal needs. In essence, an immigration paralegal is responsible for providing clients with assistance regarding visa acquisition processes, visa petitions, and so on.
Even though a paralegal is not in a position to offer legal advice, they do provide essential assistance regarding acquiring citizenship, student visas, political asylum, and so on.
This article discusses the role of an immigration legal assistant, their duties, and the benefits clients get when working with one.
What Is an Immigration Paralegal?
Essentially, an immigration paralegal works alongside an attorney and helps immigrants attain the status of a citizen. Typically, paralegal immigration employees are bilingual and engage in direct communication with clients. It isn’t uncommon for paralegals to take on the role of a translator.
In general, immigration paralegals work at non-profit organizations, charities, and private law firms. Also, these entry-level legal workers could be employed in government agencies. In some instances, immigration paralegals help attorneys specializing in deportation cases. With certain assistance from an experienced immigration attorney, paralegals prepare and file petitions, gather the required visa documents, review invoices, and complete other daily tasks.
Additionally, immigration paralegals are responsible for collecting foreign documents, corresponding with immigration managers, organizing documentation, preparing visa applications, and tending to different case databases. A paralegal without attorney assistance can draft legal correspondence, convey factual investigations, and so on.
In the U.S., law firms tend to hire bilingual immigration paralegals to avoid a language barrier between a client and an attorney. In general, Spanish-speaking immigration paralegals are in high demand in the U.S.
The Importance of Immigration Paralegals in Legal Processes
The work of an immigrant paralegal involves ensuring the clients are given the latest updates for their legal processes, as well as answering inquiries. Additionally, it’s part of the paralegal’s job to help clients navigate the legal procedures on a per-need basis.
Paralegal immigration law employees are usually the main point of contact for clients unable to comprehend the legal requirements of the process they are involved in. Immigration paralegals tend to simplify legal processes so that the clients are able to grasp the importance of their cases. Due to the fact that immigration processes are rather complex, non-English speaking clients have a hard time understanding the seriousness of the immigration processes, which makes the role of an immigration legal assistant vital.
In terms of the scope of work an immigration paralegal does, it involves a solid command of specific immigration naturalization forms, including I-140, PERM applications, Blanket L-1As, L-1Bs, H-1B, TN, and more.
How Does an Immigration Paralegal Work?
A paralegal for immigration is a valuable link in the chain of communication between an attorney and the client. The daily responsibilities of immigration paralegals usually revolve around paperwork and communicating with clients.
What Does an Immigration Paralegal Do
In general, these are the immigration paralegal duties:
- Initial communication with a client: This serves to understand the needs of the case and report the status to the attorney.
- Collecting legal forms and documents and assisting clients in understanding the matter.
- Summarizing the legal process to the client.
- Exploring the requirements regarding refugee statuses and asylum.
- Acquiring visas.
- Maintaining client documentation both online and offline.
- Keeping clients informed on case progress and future actions.
- Collecting and filing papers.
Often, an immigration paralegal’s responsibilities include standard clerical work, so it has become a practice that paralegals are proficient in Outlook and MS Word. Additionally, some attorney firms ask for immigration paralegals to be knowledgeable in particular immigration software for paralegals, such as INSZoom and LawLogix.
Perks of Opting for an Immigration Paralegal
By choosing the services of an immigration law paralegal, clients can rest assured their legal requirements are properly translated to the attorney. In other words, the paralegal will interview the client and then summarize the case to the attorney.
Since immigration paralegals work closely with immigration attorneys, clients practically get professional and customized legal advice without having to be in direct contact with the attorney.
Clients who cooperate with an immigration paralegal can benefit from the following:
- Expertise and knowledge: Immigration paralegals are trained in handling immigration processes and legal matters and can provide reliable legal information regarding the rules and regulations around the process of immigration.
- Customized advice: Immigration paralegals will evaluate the existing immigration status and deliver a proper course of action according to the specific circumstances.
- Help with paperwork: An immigration paralegal role includes assistance with robust legal paperwork, including collecting and filing.
- Legal representation: Should an immigration case require court or immigration agency representation, the immigration paralegal will prepare the attorney for the case.
Conclusion: Understanding the Role of an Immigration Paralegal
Immigration paralegals are the intangible link between a client and an attorney. These entry-level professionals are the first point of contact for clients in need of immigration services. Thanks to immigration paralegals, clients are constantly informed of the status of their cases and are kept up-to-date with the latest legal document requirements.
One of the main responsibilities of immigration paralegals is to collect, organize, and file all necessary documentation on behalf of the client. Often, immigration paralegals take on the role of translators since many immigration clients are non-native.
Without immigration paralegals in the system, immigration attorneys are left without the much-needed assistance, legal correspondence documentation, and more.