A Day in the Life of an Immigration Lawyer

Immigration is at the forefront of the political sphere. President Donald Trump has fought back against immigrants, causing many to be detained. He has also outlined new immigration policies that will allow highly skilled immigrants into the country, but the policies are said to also keep low-paid immigrants from entering the country.

The merit-based system will change immigration in the US, but it still lacks the details to really understand its impact.

It’s more of an outline for a plan than it is a solid plan at the moment. Protests and gatherings opposing changes to immigration have emerged all across the country. While people protest, lawyers are sitting behind desks or working with clients to help them realize US citizenship or obtain visas.

A day in the life of an immigration lawyer in Toronto is similar to that of an American lawyer.

Morning Through Noon

Mornings often start with client meetings and listening to family members that have had their loved ones denied visas or other options. These meetings are often intense and emotional, and a lawyer may see two or more potential clients before noon.

It’s a hard morning with a lot of emotion.

You hear stories of families being torn apart or being stuck in limbo.

Noon or Around One

When the mail arrives, often around noon, this is a very important part of the day. The mail brings court approvals, rejections, requests of evidence, oppositions and other court papers. The mail may seem like an easy part of the day, but a single piece of mail can change the course of an entire day.

A denied visa can lead to phone calls and meetings with clients. New strategies need to be formed and plans formulated to try and bring families back together.

Lunch may or may not happen, depending on how busy the day may be.

The Remainder of the Day

Midday will really set the pace for the rest of the day. Research and writing will comprise the rest of the day’s activities. Attorneys will spend hours researching and writing documents. You need to be able to provide proof of a person’s need to obtain a visa, and this means that you’ll be spending a lot of the time doing research.

You need to look up country of origin conditions, trying to track down other legal records and contacting government agencies.

The day often ends around 8 pm, and if you’re a solo attorney, it’s not uncommon for the majority of your work to be conducted at home. Attorneys will do all of the research and client meetings in the office, but weekends or afterhours allows for uninterrupted research and documentation.

It’s a very long day, but it’s a fulfilling one.

Immigration attorneys also need to keep current on all immigration changes and new laws. A single change may mean that a client no longer qualifies for a specific visa or no longer meets the conditions to obtain a visa or green card.

It’s a challenging career option that many passionate attorneys are starting to specialize in, as immigration remains at the forefront of the upcoming election.