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Beware of Immigration Scams

Immigration Scams

Are you ready to file an application or petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services? One of the first things you’ll need to do is get the correct forms. You never have to pay for USCIS forms. They’re free at USCIS dot Gov. to pay attention to the dot-gov web address when you’re online. Dot-gov websites such as USCIS dot Gov are operated by the government and are the best place to get the correct and up to date forms and information you need.

Always check USCIS dot Gov to compare the information you find on dot com websites. Dotcom websites may lead due to online immigration scams. So now that you have your free forms, maybe you still want to have some help or even legal representation. This is perfectly fine, but not mandatory. You may come across lots of different people who claim they can help you.

Maybe someone in your community offers to assist you in completing your paperwork or in a flyer advertisement, or sign, someone promises that, for a fee, they can speed up the process and get your green card or work authorization fast. Or you decide to work with a local attorney who advises that he or she specializes in immigration law. A friend or a neighbor may mean well but may not be qualified to give legal advice or communicate with USCIS about your case. The store that promises it can speed up the process and get your green card or work authorization fast may be trying to rip you off.

Be careful. Only a licensed attorney in good standing, or a person accredited by the board of immigration appeals, is authorized to give legal advice and communicate with USCIS about your case. In many Spanish-speaking nations notaries, or notaries, are powerful attorneys with special legal credentials.

In the US, however, notary publics are people appointed by state governments to witness the signing of important documents and administer oaths. When you see signs or flyers and other materials in the US advertising immigration services by a notario, know that these individuals are not authorized to provide you with the legal services related to immigration and remember, you can always represent yourself before USCIS.

If you receive assistance from an unauthorized service provider you may face unintended consequences, including a delay in your application, paying unnecessary fees, or even risking the possibility of deportation proceedings. Before you get help, whether it’s from someone you know, a community organization, or a legal service provider, is sure that the person helping you is a licensed attorney in good standing or is accredited by the BIA. This ensures that they are qualified to assist with your USCIS case.

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