At NPZ Law Group, we take our responsibility of serving immigrants and those in need of immigration law assistance very seriously. Our clients depend upon us to help with issues that can have significant and far reaching consequences on their lives. For us, we are stunned that there are others out there who pretend to be qualified to help people with immigration issues, but who are only looking to scam them and take their money. Unfortunately, this has become a big problem in the U.S. “Notario Fraud” or the unauthorized practice of immigration law has grown in recent years. Knowledge is power and we are here to discuss these schemes in the hope that you (or someone you know) will avoid falling victim to them.
Avoid Falling Victim to “Notario Fraud” or the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law
To entice potential victims, those perpetrating immigration law scams will advertise and distribute things like brochures that make grand promises and guarantees. There are promises of quick green cards or legalization if you can pay them their named price. These scammers can charge people thousands of dollars for services that end up being almost worthless.
Notario fraud has been particularly prevalent lately. In notario fraud, a person will represent themselves as qualified to provide legal advice or services on matters of immigration law. They may claim to actually be an attorney, legal assistant, or notario publico. Claiming to be a “notario publico” can be especially problematic as, while it translates to “notary public,” notary public in many other countries, particularly in Latin American and Europe, refers to a person who has obtained the equivalent of a law license. In the U.S., however, a notary public and a licensed attorney are very different.
When a victim places their faith in someone who is not licensed to practice immigration law, but claims to be, the impact on the victim can be severe. There may be important deadlines missed or forms incorrectly completed. There may have been missed opportunities to become a legal U.S. resident or to avoid removal. The victim may have also inadvertently become a part of filing a false claim with the government, which can come with both civil and criminal penalties.
Protect yourself and others from falling victim to these kinds of deplorable scams. Always make sure to check your lawyer’s credentials. Make sure they are licensed to practice law which means that they are legally empowered to represent you in court or in front of an administrative law judge, advise you of your legal rights, and detail your legal options. Furthermore, do not pay for any immigration forms as they are available free of charge. Other steps you can take to protect yourself include:
- Asking your lawyers office for all receipts
- Never signing a blank form
- Understanding applications your attorney may be submitting on your behalf
- Retaining all of your original personal documents
- Obtaining copies of everything.
Immigration Law Attorneys
If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family, or if you want to access additional information about United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. You can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com.