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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration Law"You Don't Need a License for US Immigration": The Fake Lawyer Credo

"You Don't Need a License for US Immigration": The Fake Lawyer Credo

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing fake lawyers.

Unfortunately, we see this a lot out here in Southeast Asia. There are a lot of basically hucksters who claimed to be lawyers that are not in fact qualified or they go by the term "Visa Service" or "Visa Agent," whatever. It is very clear pursuant to 8 CFR 292.1 under US Law, that only an Attorney is entitled to charge fees for providing Immigration Services.

The thing to take away from this video is the specific notion of, we will see correspondence often from these individuals who are pretending to be lawyers, attorneys with respect to the US Immigration matters, and we will see correspondence between them and their clients, so-called. Basically one of the one of the things I have seen rather frequently in these emails is the client will try to ascertain their credentials and they will ask something along the lines of "Can I see your license?" "Where did you go to law school?" you know those kind of questions, basically trying to ascertain if they are genuine Attorney, if they are truly qualified to provide the services they are claiming.  I have seen this response many, many times. "You don't need a license to do Immigration work." or "It is not legal work so a law license isn't required."  That is just nonsense. That is not the case at all and in point of fact, ”Yes you do", pursuant to the Law I previously mentioned 8 CFR 292.1 it is clearly stipulated in there that attorneys are the only ones that can provide these types of services for fees. Under certain contexts, certain nonprofit organizations may be able to provide certain immigration-related services but again in a non-profit capacity. So those who are out there saying “you don't need to be a lawyer to do this”, be leery of that and it is something that those who are looking to come to the United States should be very leery of because it has been our experience that these folks that do this oftentimes will also tell people to for example lie to the government under certain circumstances or make things up or change things with respect to their applications or they will just bumble the process because they don't understand how it works. There are certain people who believe that simply because I can read the forms, I will go ahead and that will be fine with respect to being able to help someone. It is not at all. The forms are not the end-all be-all with respect to the process. There is a great deal of jurisprudence underlying the forms. There is a great deal of jurisprudence underlying the instructions to the forms and then there is great deal of jurisprudence out there with respect to US Immigration generally. US Immigration is a very narrow body of law insofar as what it covers, but it is very deep. It is not unlike tax to a certain degree although tax tends to affect a much broader segment of the population whereas Immigration tends to affect a much more narrow segment of the population. These bodies of law are no less deep and even small errors can cause serious problems under certain circumstances for folks coming to the US. Ascertaining the credentials of an individual is key if you are looking to have professional legal services provided with respect to US Immigration and don't take "Oh you don't have to have a license for this." for an answer. That is just nonsense. Yes one does need to have a license to provide this type of service and frankly from the client perspective, having someone who is not licensed assist in this, can actually cause more harm and trouble than in certain circumstances simply doing it one's self. 

So again, look up the qualifications; understand the certifications of the folks that you are looking to assist in US Immigration because failure to do so can have dire consequences.