If any of the following people try to counsel you about immigration matters, be wary.
Notary publics or notarios- They're licensed to perform only a select few administrative tasks, like authorizing signatures. They can't represent you in court or before USCIS.
Workers at unauthorized non-profit organizations - The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) approves people at certain organizations to help you with immigration matters. If they're not on this list, don't work with them.
Immigration "consultants" or travel agencies - These people likely have very little actual education about immigration law.
Take extra caution if anyone makes promises that are too good to be true, seems overly insistent about taking your money, or claims to have an "in" with USCIS or immigration officers.
Watch What You Sign
If someone who isn't qualified submits an immigration application for you, they may do you more harm than good.
You could be placed in removal proceedings because of their actions. Make sure you work only with qualified professionals, especially if you have a criminal history.
Keep Original Documents
In almost every situation, copies of important documents are fine.Don't give anyone your original birth certificate, marriage license, or other document, as they could lose it, sell it, or use it to take advantage of you.
Hold On To Your Money
Don't pay someone to help you with immigration matters unless he or she gives you a contract or engagement agreement. Read that contract thoroughly and make sure you agree with its terms. Whenever you pay, get a receipt. Pay with check or credit card when you can, since cash payments are harder to prove and easier for criminals to misuse.
Never pay for blank immigration forms. They are available for free at the USCIS website.
If someone tells you to lie on an immigration application, stop working with them immediately. Lying or committing fraud in order to get immigration benefits can keep you from receiving the benefits and can even get you deported.
Don't lie to the government or anyone who helps you with immigration matters. USCIS has ways of finding out the truth, and they will deny your case if they discover the fraud.
Many times, the things you may be tempted to lie about, such as using a false name or not paying taxes, won't impact your case as much as you think. A qualifed immigration attorney can counsel you about this.
Take the safe route. The lawyers at Broyles, Kight & Ricafort have over 40 years of combined experience practicing immigration law. They're honest, ethical, and fair. They'll fight for your rights and help you find the peace of mind you're searching for.