How can a foreigner become a solicitor in the UK?

Are fully qualified foreign lawyers exempt from the QWE requirement?

What if you are already qualified as a lawyer in another country, but you’re not British, and you do not live in the UK, and you want to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales?

First check on the SRA website whether the activity you want to do is a service you can offer as a foreign lawyer or a Registered Foreign Lawyer. If it is not, then you will need to cross-qualify through Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE), which has now replaced the Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS).

Well, as a qualified lawyer from other country, you do not need to show Qualifying Work Experience.

You will still need a degree, qualification, or experience that is at the same level as a UK undergraduate degree.

If you want to become a solicitor, you have to pass SQE1 and SQE2, or apply for an exemption. The SRA has agreed exemptions for certain countries, but you’ll need to check this. If your country is not on the list, then you can still apply for an exemption. 

SQE1 and the written assessments of SQE2 can be taken abroad. However the SQE2 oral assessments can currently only be taken in England and Wales.

Finally, you need to satisfy the SRA’s character and suitability requirements, which include a criminal background check.