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It is an unfortunate fact that immigrants are often targeted by individuals who claim to be qualified to give legal guidance and services. These criminals can offer to help with immigration, employment visas or other legal matters.

Common examples of false statements

According to the Commission on Immigration, this can involve such lies as:

  • The person claims to be an attorney
  • The person claims to be authorized to represent immigrants before United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) or immigration courts
  • The person claims to be qualified to prepare legal paperwork like a business document, a will or other legal paperwork
  • The person claims to have a court license
  • The person claims to be a legal assistant

What is a notary public or notario publico?

While a notario publico is the term for a person who has a law license (similar to a lawyer or attorney) in Latin American and European countries, this term refers to a person who witnesses the signing of official forms here in the United States. This can lead to a lot of confusion for immigrants seeking legal guidance.

Fraudsters turn immigrants into victims

Victims who have been taken advantage often end up with paperwork that misses deadlines, was improperly filled out, or makes false claims to the government. This can lead to missed opportunities for visas or citizenship, potential for criminal punishment because of the false claims, or even deportation from the country. This happens while they charge their client/victims thousands of dollars.

If they tell you something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. It is best to work with a qualified attorney who has experience guiding immigrants who seek a work visa or citizenship. It is best to verify this before paying them any money.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber