If you are thinking about possibly studying to become an immigration attorney, one of the questions you might have is, ‘are they paid well?’. Before tackling this question, we will have a look at what immigration attorney’s do and whether it is a stressful job. Then you can decide for yourself whether the average salary is classed as ‘well paid’.

What Do Immigration Attorneys Do?

The experts at immigration law firm in San Jose Graham Adair say that immigration lawyers do more than just represent immigrants in those high-profile cases you may have seen on the news from time to time. Hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world come to the U.S. every year, and for assorted reasons. Some are coming to be with family while others are hoping to secure a job here and make a better life for themselves. Then there are those who are fleeing from their own countries and are seeking asylum or refugee status here.

What most people hoping to come to the U.S. do not realize is that the processes surrounding entry are extremely complicated. Oftentimes, the individual’s immigration status can have an impact on other areas of law such as criminal, family, tax, and business, so the lawyer will need to have a wide knowledge base in a variety of areas.

The immigration attorney helps individuals to understand what is required of them when they come to the U.S. They might complete forms and gather paperwork to be submitted to the relevant authority, or they may represent their clients in administrative court. They can suggest the best course of action for the individual in question, or counsel them about their rights as well as their immigration obligations.

Immigration attorneys work in various settings, with some being employed to work for large immigration law firms and others working for small non-profit organizations.

Is Being an Immigration Attorney Stressful?

There is no doubting the fact that this type of work can be stressful from time to time, particularly when dealing with applicants who have arrived in the U.S. from countries where there is civil unrest. Many of these individuals have experienced traumatic events and may have been separated from family members, or they could have been persecuted at home for whatever reasons. This type of work can affect mental health and can be incredibly stressful.

There are other ways in which working as an immigration lawyer can be stressful. Even those who never represent people applying for asylum can find the constantly changing immigration laws demanding. Furthermore, immigration lawyers often work long hours, particularly when preparing for a case. This can have a negative impact on work-life balance.

Are Immigration Lawyers Paid Well?

The average salary for immigration lawyers is $82,721 according to Salary.com. While this may seem like quite a lot, it must be noted that when compared to lawyers working in other sectors, such as corporate law for example, this salary is lower. However, immigration lawyers can earn more as they gain more experience, and those who open their own practice have even more potential to increase their earnings. The salary of an immigration lawyer depends on where they work, who they work for, and how long they have been qualified.


Immigration lawyers earn a lucrative salary, despite it being lower than those who specialize in other fields. But they do work extremely hard, and the job can be stressful from time to time. Nevertheless, those who do work in this area of law will tell you that even with the challenges, immigration law is rewarding and interesting.

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