When it comes to filing for any immigration benefits there is a substantial amount of paperwork involved. It would seem that everyone would hire a lawyer to process an immigration case, but that is not what always happens. In many places such as Manhattan, New York, there is a teeming "quasi" underground business of immigration forms preparation. In may instances, these business call themselves immigration consultants or Notario Publicos, and some even hide under the guise of travel agents and translations services, and other such businesses. They all charge less than licensed Manhattan immigration lawyer, but they are unable to provide the service of a true immigration lawyer.
In the Manhattan, New York, as in other cities and states there are many such immigration consultants who offer to help obtain legal residency. Some of them are honest and hardworking and limit their work to forms preparation without to resorting to making believe that they are licensed New York Immigration Lawyers. Some of the consultants are former employees of the Immigration Service or were U.S. consular employees. As there is NO LICENSE for immigration consultants and NO EXAMINATION needed, you can imagine the inconsistency in the quality of the work. Consultants, unlike a licensed Manhattan Immigration Lawyer are not subject to discipline by the Bar Association and normally cannot be held for damages for their work product.
One thing for sure, the immigration consultants, are not permitted to appear at an immigration hearing to represent a client. Not only can they not appear in front of an immigration examiner, they are not permitted to represent anyone in immigration court.
And there is no guarantee that when they complete the immigration forms that they know how to conduct a proper review, the way a licensed Manhattan Immigration Lawyer would do, to prevent needless complications and possible deportation action. To make a complaint against an Immigration Consultant click here .
In the United States, Notaries are authorized to compare signatures and certify, "notarize" that the signature on a form is that of the person who is named on the form, take oaths, or certifying a copy of paper. But that is not so in many foreign countries. In Latin countries, Notarios hold an esteemd position very similar to lawyers. The Notario prepares documents, and reviews their execution and in some countries may have the power of law.
New immigrants get confused and believe that an American Notary has the same power and place in our society as that of a Notario in their country. The immigrant believing that a Notatio is like a licensed lawyer, hires the Notario and in many cases, find themselves in "hot water." In the United States most anyone can become a Notary Public, by filling our an application and taking a very simple test. To make a complaint against a Notario Publico click here.
Travel Agencies and Translation Services
There are some travel agencies and Translation services that go well beyond their corporate charter. They engage in similar activities, that the Notario Publico and the Immigration Consultants are doing by acting like a licensed Manhattan Immigration lawyer. However, in most every case, these agencies do little more that type up the immigration forms, not knowing what the immigration service in truly asking in each question. In many cases, their clients do not get the "Green Card" they believed was forthcoming, instead they receive a Notice to Appear" for a deportation hearing in Immigration Court.
How to Select a licensed Manhattan Immigration Lawyer
There are good reasons to hire a licensed Manhattan Immigration Lawyer to handle your case. If you run into any problem during the process, you will need legal assistance to resolve it. If your immigration situation is complicated, there is even a greater reason to hire a licensed Manhattan immigration lawyer.
If you're going to hire an immigration lawyer, you need to do your research. A good lawyer will be worth every penny you pay him, but a poor one may wind up adding to your problems and costing a lot more in the long run.
Here are some tips to help you during your search.