When Immigration Matters

Tips For Avoiding Immigration Fraud

Posted by Michael Pollak on Nov 29, 2009 10:26:00 AM

We have been getting a lot of questions regarding the role of Notarios and Immigration Consultants so we decided to post more information on this topic to prevent anyone from becoming a victim of immigration fraud.

Notarios and Immigration Consulants
Notarios, notary publics and immigration consultants may NOT represent you before USCIS.  While in many other countries the word "Notario" means that the individual is an attorney, this is not true in the United States and they may not provide the same services that and attorney or accredited representative does.

A notario may NOT:

  • Give you legal advice on what immigration benefit you may apply for or what to say in an immigration interview
  • Represent him or herself as qualified in legal matters or in immigration and naturalization procedure

If you are seeking help with immigration questions, you should be very careful before paying money to a non-attorney. Below are some tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • DO NOT sign blank applications, petitions or other papers.
  • DO NOT sign documents that you do not understand.
  • DO NOT sign documents that contain false statements or inaccurate information.
  • DO NOT let anyone keep your original documents.
  • DO NOT make payments to a representative without getting a receipt.
  • DO NOT pay more than a nominal fee to non-attorneys or make payments on the internet.
  • DO obtain copies of all documents prepared or submitted for you.
  • DO verify an attorney's or accredited representative's eligibility to represent you.
  • DO report any representative's unlawful activity to USCIS, State Bar Associations and/or State Offices of Attorneys General.

Attorneys and Accredited Representatives
You may choose to have someone, such as an attorney or accredited representative of a recognized organization, represent you when filing an application or petition with USCIS. Only attorneys and accredited representatives may communicate on your behalf regarding your application with USCIS.  For more information on finding an attorney or accredited representative to help you file an application or petition, please visit the Finding Legal Advice link on the USCIS website.

Information Source:  USCIS

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Tags: immigration fraud, USCIS

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