Immigration Fraud

We don’t want you to become a victim of an immigration scam. If you need legal advice on immigration matters, make sure the person helping you is authorized to give legal advice. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ) recognized organization can give you legal advice.

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Don't Be A Victim of Immigration Fraud

Notarios, Notary Publics and Immigration Consultants

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 an 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.
  • Hold him or herself out 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. Please use the following guidelines when selecting an individual to represent you:

How to Protect Yourself from 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.

For more information on how to report unlawful activity, please see the links on the right side of this page for the National Association of Attorney Generals and the American Bar Association. These websites contain contact information for your state Attorney General or State Board.

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.