Don’t Fall for Notario Fraud

January 16, 2019 8:44 am
by David Jakeman

Don’t be fooled.

A notario is not a lawyer and can’t help you with immigration questions. Only an immigration lawyer or authorized representative can help you.

People get confused because throughout many places in Latin America, a notario is a well-trained, highly skilled professional who is qualified to help with immigration and taxes. That’s not the case in the United States. A notario has no special training or qualifications to allow them to give you advice on immigration or taxes. A public notary in the United States is qualified to witness the signing of documents. That’s it. So don’t take their advice on immigration.

In fact, notarios can really mess up your application. They might fill in your forms with false information. Sometimes, they won’t even submit your application. No matter what they do, you are the one who will suffer the consequences for their mistakes or deceptions. A notario can permanently jeopardize your chances for immigration relief. You could even end up deported.

Protect yourself by making sure that you’re working with someone who is both authorized to practice immigration law and is competent enough to give you good advice. You can look up immigration lawyers in the American Immigration Lawyer Association’s database: www.ailalawyer.com

Other individuals and organizations who are not lawyers have been approved to represent you in immigration matters. The Department of Justice maintains a list that you can check: www.justice.gov/eoir/find-legal-representation

You can also protect yourself by making sure that you get everything in writing. Make sure you have a contract and that you receive a receipt for any money you pay and for any documents or applications that get filed with the government. Don’t sign blank forms or forms that have false information. Don’t leave original documents like birth certificates or passports with anyone. And remember, all government forms are issued free of charge. You should not pay anyone for immigration forms. You can print off anything you need at www.uscis.gov

A notario will take your money and leave you with nothing. Don’t let them steal your dreams. If you have been harmed by a notario, visit www.stopnotariofraud.org for information on how to report and other precautions you can take.

We are here for you! Come in and talk with one of our top-notch immigration lawyers about your individual situation.

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