Becoming a migration agent is the dream job for many believers in the free moving of people all around the world. Helping disadvantaged people to move somewhere else where they could fulfil their dreams and enjoy the respect of their human and other rights is exactly what they want to spend their days on.
If you are one of them, you may be wondering how to become a migration agent. The road to fulfiling this goal is not difficult but is not easy either. As with getting any other job, you’ll have to put the hard work before offering your services to someone who may need them. But first, you have to learn what exactly a migration agent is, what do they do, and how to become one.
What Is a Migration Agent?
A migration agent is a professional who assists people to move to or remain in a certain country. They have to be registered with a government body in order to be eligible to do that job. Their duties include:
- Providing information and advice to current and potential migrants
- Advising them on the applicable options for moving or remaining abroad
- Gathering, preparing, and submitting all the documents on behalf of their clients
- Represent clients before visa processing and review bodies
- Getting help from legal professionals for court proceedings, if necessary
- Advising clients on issues that may arise during visa proceedings
- Advising clients on the possible visa outcomes and what each outcome may mean for their life situation
- Assisting clients with arranging their new life in the country, such as opening bank accounts
A migration agent has to possess a deep knowledge of all the immigration laws, procedures, and practices. They have to be able to express their thoughts in a clear and concise way. Also, they must not lack communication skills, problem-solving skills, great interpersonal skills, empathy, and caring character. After all, they are in everyday communication with people with an uncertain future and have to act accordingly.
How to Become a Migration Agent?
If you like what migration agents do and you think that you possess the soft skills necessary for doing a successful job in this field, you should now focus on the following steps.
Decide Where You Want to Work
You can choose between working for the government or go your own way and establish a private practice. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to get into it and those requirements may differ. If you don’t meet all of them already, it is best to choose only one of them and focus on what is required for it.
Get the Required Education
Every country has a national law that sets the requirements for becoming a migration agent and that always involves education. Most often you’ll need a law degree or another immigration-related degree. For some government migration worker positions, education is not required in some countries, so ensure to check out what education is required from you to become an agent.
Ensure You Meet the Other Requirements
Aside from getting the education, there will likely be other requirements. Most often, these include getting through some kind of assessment that proves your knowledge of the migration matters and that you are of good character.
Also, you will likely need to get registered with a migration-related government body and maybe even get a license. These requirements vary from one country to another, so again, ensure to check out what they are and do your best to meet those that you don’t meet already.
Speak a Foreign Language
Speaking a foreign language is never a formal requirement for becoming a migration agent, but if you want to be a successful one, ensure that you speak the language of your clients. Migrants rarely speak well the language of their new country before immigrating. Since you’ll be providing them with an advice of utmost importance for their future, it is very important to provide the message well.
If you are a migrant in another country or you have a migrant background, speaking your native language will help you communicate with people from your own country, so you can focus your efforts on providing help mostly to them. But if you don’t speak a second language, learning one will take you a step further than the competition who don’t speak it.
Get Some Working Experience
Instead of learning the migration agent job on your own, opt for an entry-level job, internship, or a volunteering position in the field. It will get you a feeling of how things are going, you’ll test your skills and figure out if you lack some, and most important of all, you’ll learn the trade by someone experienced in it.
You may be the best immigration law student and be very enthusiastic about this work, but that won’t be enough when faced with real-world situations. They are good, but they can’t replace the working experience.