How to Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim
- Dec 18, 2008 (15:25:08)
Finding Legal Advice
You may choose to be represented by an attorney or accredited representative when filing applications or petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
But, you should be aware of the following information to help protect yourself from fraudulent activities committed by individuals posing as attorneys or accredited representatives.
Know Your Rights
If you choose to have a representative when filing an application or petition with USCIS, you may be represented by an attorney or an accredited representative of a recognized organization.
A representative must file a “NOTICE OF ENTRY OF APPEARANCE AS ATTORNEY OR REPRESENTATIVE” (Form G-28) along with the application or petition.
In matters filed within the United States, only attorneys and accredited representatives may communicate on your behalf to USCIS and receive information from USCIS regarding your application or petition.
If you are filing an application or petition at an office outside the United States, you may be represented by an attorney admitted to the practice of law in that country.
If you need legal advice about an immigration matter but cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may be able to ask an attorney, an association of immigration lawyers, a state bar association, or an organization specially -accredited to provide such assistance about the availability of free or reduced cost legal services on immigration issues.
Attorneys must be a member in good standing of the “bar” of a U.S. State (or U.S. possession, territory, Commonwealth, or the District of Columbia) and not be under any court order restricting their practice of law.
Attorneys will check the first block on Form G-28 and must provide information regarding their admission to practice. The best way to protect yourself is to ask to see the current attorney licensing document for the attorney, make a note of the admission number if any, and to contact the State bar admission authorities to verify the information.
A lawfully admitted attorney should honor your request for this information, as State Bar practice rules require disclosure of this information to clients. You may also access this information through that States bar website.
Before you pay attorney fees for help with your immigration case, make sure that the individual is a licensed attorney.
Accredited representatives must work for a Recognized Organization in order to be eligible to represent you before USCIS and file a Form G-28.
They may be authorized to practice before the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and/or USCIS. The best way to protect yourself is to ask to see a copy of the BIA decision granting official recognition to the Accredited Representative and Recognized Organization.
An accredited representative of a recognized organization should honor your request. Recognized organizations may only charge nominal (inexpensive) fees, if any, for providing services in immigration matters.
An accredited representative of a recognized organization should honor your request. You may also check the Recognition Accreditation Roster maintained by the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR.) The EOIR website can be found under "Related Links" on this page.
Important Information Regarding Notarios, Notary Publics and Immigration Consultants
Notarios, notary publics and immigration consultants may NOT represent you before USCIS.
They may not give you legal advice on what immigration benefit you may apply for or what to say in an immigration interview.
These individuals may NOT hold themselves out as qualified in legal matters or in immigration and naturalization procedure and may only charge nominal (inexpensive) fees as regulated by state law.
In many other countries, the word "notario" means that the individual is an attorney, but that is not true in the United States. Individuals seeking help with immigration questions should be very careful before paying money to non-attorneys.
Notary publics and immigration consultants MAY help you by filling in the blanks on pre-printed USCIS forms with information you provide or by translating documents. Individuals helping you in this way are required by law to disclose to USCIS their assistance by completing the section at the bottom of a petition or application concerning the "Preparer" of the form.
How to Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim (사기사건의 피해자가 되지 않으려면)
1. DO NOT sign blank applications, petitions or other papers. (아무 것도 적혀있지 않은 공란의 신청서, 청원서, 기타 문서에는 서명하지 말 것)
2. DO NOT sign documents that you do not understand. (내용을 이해하기 전에는 문서에 서명하지 말 것)
3. DO NOT sign documents that contain false statements or inaccurate information. (거짓 진술이나 부정확한 정보를 담고 있는 서류에는 서명하지 말 것)
4. DO NOT make payments to a representative without getting a receipt. (영수증을 받기 전에는 서비스 대행자에게 돈을 지불하지 말 것)
5. DO NOT pay expensive fees to non-attorneys. (변호사가 아닌 사람에게 비싼 서비스 요금을 지불하지 말 것) * 이 조언은 '변호사에게는 비싼 서비스 요금을 지불해도 괜찮다'는 뜻은 아님.
6. DO obtain copies of all documents prepared or submitted for you. (당신을 위해, 또는 당신의 이름으로 작성되고 제출되는 모든 서류는 복사본을 만들어서 보관해 둘 것)
7. DO verify an attorney’s or accredited representative’s eligibility to represent you. (해당 변호사나 케이스 담당자가 자신의 케이스를 담당할 자격을 갖고 있는지를 확인할 것)
8. DO report any representative’s unlawful activity to USCIS, State Bar Associations and/or State Offices of Attorneys General. (업무 대행자의 불법적인 활동을 발견하는 경우 이민국, 주 변호사회, 또는 주 검찰국에 보고해줄 것)
This page can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/legaladvice