Say ‘NO’ to Notaries and Immigration Consultants

Unfortunately, there is a large amount of non-attorneys practicing immigration law. No one can deny the fact that not all immigrants are going to be able to afford a high end attorney to assist them with their cases. This is where people such as Notaries (Notarios) or Immigration Consultants come in to play. These people often time offer low cost assistance to immigrants and their families. Unfortunately, the “help” these people are receiving is not always help. In fact, it may actually hurt more than help.

The Problem with Notaries

Notary publics, are people who serve as an impartial witness to people signing many types of important documents. They attest that the person signing is in fact the person he or she says they are. They are NOT authorized to help any individual full out immigration forms, or instruct people what forms to fill out.

I repeat – it is not LEGAL for notary publics, often called notaries, to help choose or fill out immigration forms for immigrants. Also, they are not allowed to charge fees for such services.

The Problem with Immigration Consultants

Sadly, there is a possibility for a person to become an immigration consultant. These people are authorized to provide non-legal services to immigrants. What does non-legal services mean? It means they are glorified typists. They are able to fill out forms that the immigrants tell the consultant they need filled out. However, the immigration consultant is not able to instruct a person as to what forms he or she may need, nor can they make any decision as to the content placed onto the forms.

Only Attorneys Are Able to Provide Legal Advice

Immigration is a very complex area of law with real consequences. It is important to seek the advice of an attorney who regularly practices immigration law. No notary public or immigration consultant will be able to properly guide you to making the right decision.

Some nonprofit agencies do have accredited representatives who are not licensed attorneys; however, they are supervised by attorneys. Once such agency is Catholic Charities.

If you are concerned about a notary public or immigration consultant, you can refer to this link for more information.

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