Beware of Immigration Scams

Kelli Allen

Now that the President has announced numerous new immigration programs, there is tremendous excitement in the immigrant community. Unfortunately, this also raises issues of unscrupulous individuals hoping to take advantage of the situation.

Here are some things to be aware of when speaking with anyone about your immigration case:

  • No applications are currently being accepted under any of the new programs, so if someone says he/she can file right away, beware. However, qualified immigration attorneys can begin the screening process and, in many cases, will be able to confirm eligibility. Your process of gathering documents and providing information to the attorney can start any time, just know that it will be a few months before anything can be submitted to USCIS.
  • No one can guarantee approval. Qualified immigration attorneys can screen you to determine whether you meet eligibility requirements. However, since USCIS makes the ultimate decision, no on can guarantee any certain result.
  • No one can guarantee a driver's license. Only the state Department of Motor Vehicles has the authority to issue a driver's license. Beware of anyone who says he/she can get you a driver's license.
  • Notarios are NOT licensed attorneys and do NOT have legal training.
  • This is not a matter of simply filling out a couple of forms. Extensive documentation of eligibility requirements will be required, so make sure you are dealing with a licensed, qualified immigration attorney who will be sure to include this documentation with your application packet.

If you have a question about whether a particular individual is really a licensed attorney, contact the State Bar Association to verify that he/she is an attorney in good standing.

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