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Immigration to the US as a Lawyer

By Ella Bergquist October 8, 2020 (Updated July 29, 2021) 4 min. read
Immigrating to the US as a Lawyer

Are you interested in immigrating to the United States and currently working and hold experience as a lawyer in your home country? You’re in luck! The US considers those with educational and work experience as a lawyer, a skilled worker. Being a skilled worker allows foreign nationals to immigrate to the US through several paths.

Job Description (SOC 23-1011)

Lawyer, of course, means one who practices the law. Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law. Qualified lawyers have to attend law school and pass a bar exam in order to practice law.

Salary Average: $45,000 and $160,000 USD per year

US Lawyer Requirements

To work in the US as a lawyer, you typically have to graduate from law school, pass the bar exam, and there are a few other additional requirements.

Each state in the US has different requirements. If a foreign national is looking to move to the US and practice law they must pass the bar exam where they intend to practice. New York and California are often popular locations for foreign lawyers because they offer the most flexible requirements.

Step-by-Step Immigration to the US to Practice Law

  1. Hire an Immigration Lawyer – There are many documents and requirements for those looking to work and live in the US, even more, if you are looking to practice law. An immigration lawyer will help you organize these documents and requirements to find you the best path for US immigration
  2. Find out which state you want to reside – Depending on which state you want to move to will determine the requirements you must reach to practice law in the US
  3. Pass the bar exam – You will have to pass the bar exam for that state in which you intend to live in.

Visa Options for Attorneys Immigrating to the US

Thankfully lawyers typically have the work and educational experience that are required for foreign workers to immigrate to the US. There are several visas that a lawyer may qualify for to move to the US.

Working Visas

The H-1B Visa is used for many industries to hire university-educated professionals like lawyers. Learn more about the H-1B Visas and how a foreign lawyer can qualify to practice law in the US.

Treaty Visas

There are several treaty visas that allow nationals of certain countries to immigrate to the US.

Canadians and Mexican lawyers can apply for the TN visa.

Australians can apply for the E-3 visa which acts very similar to the H-1B Visa.

Singapore and Chile nationals can apply for the H-1B1 Visa.

More than 50 countries are eligible for the E-1 and E-2 Visa.

Transfer Visas

If a Law Firm wants to transfer an attorney to the US from another country they may qualify for an L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa.

Training Visas

The J-1 exchange visitor trainee visa allows lawyers to come train in public administration and law for up to 18 months. Foreign students on F-1 student visas are entitled to a one-year work authorization period called “optional practical training” upon the conclusion of their studies. 

Business Visitor Visas

An attorney can enter the US as a visitor under the B-1 Busienss Visitor. Under the B-1 Visa it allows lawyers to: participate in meetings, consult with business clients/associates, assist clients negotiating contracts, engage in independent research, assist investor clients find investment opportunties, and attend trade shows.

Extraordinary Ability Visa

The O-1 Extraordinary Ability Visa will allow attorneys who demonstrate they have extraordinary ability to enter the US. There are requirements to prove that you have shown extraordinary ability in your profession in which you should consult an immigration lawyer.

Permanent Residency

If you are looking to permanently move to the US there are several options depending on your unique case.

Are You Interested in Migrating to the United States as a Lawyer?

Immigrating to the US is not a completely straightforward process. The laws are somewhat complex, and for this reason, it helps to work with an immigration professional to help you.

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

Fill out the FREE Immigration Assessment form and get a response within 24 hours to see if you’re eligible.

The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

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