Immigrating to another country takes a lot of courage. Some people may see your immigration status as a weakness and try to take advantage of you. Others may genuinely want to help you, but they simply are not authorized or qualified to do so. Before you ask someone for help on your immigration case, or pay for any services, CLINIC wants to teach you how to protect yourself against immigration scams, commonly called notario fraud.
In the United States, only attorneys and Department of Justice accredited representatives can provide legal advice and services about immigration. The term “notario publico” in English means “notary public,” which here is someone who is only allowed to witness the signing of official documents. They cannot give legal advice or provide immigration services. Every year many people are misled, which often results in the loss of thousands of dollars, a stalled immigration case, deportation, and/or the separating of families. This does not have to be your future.
The following resources will further explain how to identify the types of people and organizations who can help you, how to recognize and report scams, plus provide other relevant information on avoiding notario fraud.
You can also browse our affiliate directory to find an immigration attorney or DOJ-accredited representative to assist you.