As an immigration attorney in the Orlando, Florida area, I pride myself in helping clients with many different types of immigration issues. I visit the Orlando USCIS office many times a week where I assist in getting immigration applications approved and helping deserving immigrants to become proud U.S. citizens.
Unfortunately, I also have witnessed immigrants without proper representation that are heartbroken when USCIS denies their application. Worse, I have seen immigrants at the Orlando immigration court without proper representation. Immigrants in immigration court often don't know what to do, or even why they were placed in removal proceedings.
There are a multitude of reasons why immigrants, including Lawful Permanent Residents, may find themselves in Orlando immigration court. Very often I am asked to help immigrants that should never have been in immigration court altogether had they been properly advised. The sad truth is bad advice will cost you dearly. Immigration is a complex area of law. Scam artists know this and often take advantage of immigrants that don't have proper representation. Therefore, I've assembled a few tips to help you avoid immigration scams.
1, Be wary of "official" telephone calls from USCIS. As a general rule, USCIS officials rarely call you. A genuine USCIS official would rather see you in person. Always write down the full name and contact information of the person calling you. NEVER provide your alien number (A#), social security number, credit card number, or bank information to someone claiming to be from USCIS or immigration court. Keep in mind that USCIS does not accept payment of immigration fees or bonds over the phone.
2. Notarios are not Attorneys. In many Central and South American countries, a "Notario Publico" (Public Notary) is an officer of the court. The same is not true in the United States. However, many "Notarios" take advantage of this confusion and offer legal services without being qualified to dispense legal advice. Countless mmigrants at the Orlando immigration court are victims of notario fraud. Moreover, the Orlando USCIS office may immediately suspect fraud regarding your application if it was prepared by a notario, or paralegal practicing without the supervision of a licensed attorney.
3. Never purchase USCIS forms from a website. I guarantee you that any website selling immigration forms is not authorized to do so by USCIS. Keep in mind that USCIS does not charge a fee for forms. The best way to insure you have the latest USCIS forms is to visit the USCIS site or visit an experienced immigration attorney.
4. There are no guarantees when dealing with USCIS or the Orlando Immigration Court. If an attorney (or notario, or paralegal) guarantees a specific result with USCIS or Immigration Court, they are not telling the truth! Immigration and USCIS rules are complex. You and your family deserve knowledgeable and honest advice. Please don't be scammed by a promise that won't be kept.
5. For any USCIS, immigration, or immigration court issue, please seek the advice of a knowledgeable immigration attorney who is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA").
Better yet, call us at Maney & Gordon, P.A. We have offices in Orlando, Tampa, El Paso, and Albuquerque. We know USCIS. We know immigration law and frequently appear before the Orlando Immigration Court. We have the knowledge and experience to provide you the best representation possible when dealing with USCIS and the immigration court.