KNOWLEDGE CENTER

State Rules On Immigration Consulting and Assistance Services

Organized alphabetically by state, the following collection of codes and regulations are not meant to be exhaustive. Please consult your state laws to understand the specific qualifications, requirements, permitted services and prohibited conduct related to offering non-legal immigration services in your state.

States That Authorize Immigration Consultant or Immigration Assistance Services

Arizona

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ARS 12-2701 et seq.
Allows a Notary to complete blank spaces on immigration forms as long as the remuneration is nominal and the Notary does not hold himself or herself out as qualified in legal matters or in immigration and naturalization procedures (ARS 12-2701)

AZ Code of Judicial Administration Part 7, Chapter 2 Section 7-208: Legal Document Preparer
Allows nonattorneys to be certified as a legal document preparer; outlines duties of a legal document preparer; states requirements for certification

California

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CA Business & Professions Code 22440 et seq.; Gov’t Code 8223
Defines immigration consultant; specifies nonlegal services ICs may perform; sets registration and bond requirement; prescribes duties of ICs; provides penalties for misconduct; restricts Notaries holding themselves out as immigration consultants; limits fees a Notary who is licensed as an immigration consultant may charge

Georgia

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OCGA 43-20A-1 et seq.
Provides for the licensing of immigration assistance providers, requires a bond, prescribes permissible services providers may perform, provides penalties

Illinois

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815 ILCS 505/2AA; 14 Ill. Adm. Code 485-10 – 485-60
Defines immigration assistance service; specifies nonlegal services and fees immigration assistance service providers may charge; requires malpractice insurance or a surety bond of $100,000; surety bond must be maintained for 2 years following the date on which it ceases operation

Maine

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4 MRSA 807-B
Defines immigration and nationality law assistance, specifies nonlegal immigration and nationality law assistance, provides prohibited acts and penalties

Maryland

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ACM Comm. Law 14-3301 et seq.
Defines immigration consultant, immigration matter, legal services, and secretarial services; provides prohibited conduct and remedies; specifies contracts and postings

Michigan

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MCL 338.3451 et seq.
Defines immigration clerical assistant and specifies authorized duties, sets limited fees, specifies prohibited acts and penalties

Minnesota

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MS 325E.031
Defines immigration assistance service, provides prohibited acts and penalties, and requires a specified written contract

Nevada

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NRS 240A.010 et seq.
Defines document preparation services, specifies registration requirements, requires a cash or surety bond

New York

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Gen. Bus. Law 460-a et seq.
Defines immigrant assistance services, specifies rules for contracts and notices, provides prohibited acts and penalties, and requires a surety bond

Oklahoma

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49 OS 6(B)
Recognizes that Notaries may provide “nonlegal” immigration advice, but must provide a specified notice verbally and in writing and provides the wording for the specified notice

South Carolina

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SCC 40-83-10 et seq.
Defines immigration assistance services, allows nonattorneys to provide these services, requires individuals providing immigration assistance services to obtain a business license, requires individuals providing immigration assistance services to post signs and include a specified notice in advertisements, provides prohibited acts and penalties

Utah

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UCA 13-49-102 et seq.
Defines immigration consultant and the duties of immigration consultants, requires a bond, states prohibited acts and penalties

Washington

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RCW 19.154.010 et seq.
Clarifies that offering translation services – translating words from another language to English – does not constitute UPL; permits certain nonlegal immigration services for compensation


 

States That Limit or Prohibit Immigration Consultants/Assistants and 'Notario' in Advertisements

Arkansas

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AC 4-109-101, 4-109-102, 4-109-103
Defines the practice of law, prohibits advertising using notario publico unless the individual is a Notary and complies with the requirement for written notice in 4-109-1-3 (specifies the prescribed notice and requires it to be both in English and Spanish)

California

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Business and & Professional Code 6126.7 and 22442.3; Goverment Code 8219.5
Prohibits translation of notario public into Spanish; establishes rules for advertising as a Notary in a foreign language; provides remedies

Colorado

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CRS 12-55-110.3(1), (2), (3)
Prohibits a Notary who is not a CO attorney from representing or advertising himself or herself as an immigration consultant or an expert on immigration matters; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified if a Notary advertises in a language other than English; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from using the phrase notario publico to advertise the services of the Notary

Connecticut

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CGS 3-95a
Prohibits a Notary from offering legal advice in immigration matters unless the Notary is an attorney or is authorized under 8 CFR 292.2; prohibits a Notary from using or assuming or advertising with the title notario publico unless the Notary is an attorney or provides written notice or states in the advertisement that the Notary is not an attorney

Illinois

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5 ILCS 312/3-102(a), (b), (c), (e)
Requires Notaries who are not attorneys or accredited immigration representatives and who advertise in a foreign language to post a prescribed notice, as specified; prohibits translation of notario; requires Notaries to post their fees; prohibits a Notary, agency or any other person who is not an attorney from representing, holding themselves out or advertising that they are experts on immigration matters or provide any other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law unless they are a designated entity under 8 CFR 245a.1 or an entity accredited by BIA; prohibits these Notaries from accepting payment in exchange for providing legal advice or any other assistance that requires legal analysis or judgment, or interpretation of the law; requires Notaries who advertise in a foreign language to post a prescribed notice, as specified, in both English and the foreign language; prohibits literal translation of terms, including Notary Public, from English into a foreign language to imply the person is an attorney

Iowa

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IC 9B.25(1), (3), (4)
Prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from practicing law; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, when advertising services; clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters, or to assist persons in drafting legal records, given legal advice or otherwise practice law, represent a person in an immigration matter or receive compensation for engaging in these activities

Indiana

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IC 33-42-2-2, 33-42-2-10
Defines and prohibits the crime of notario publico deception; requires a nonattorney Notary who advertises Notary or notario services to post a prescribed notice, as specified

Kansas

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KSA 53-121
Makes it a deceptive trade practice for a nonattorney Notary to advertise notarial services in a language other than English without including a prescribed notice, as specified, and using the term notario publico in an advertisement

Maine

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4 MRSA 807-B
Prohibits an immigration and nationality law assistance provider from representing or advertising as a notario, immigration consultant, immigration agent, immigration assistant or attorney in a manner that could cause a customer to believe the provider is authorized to practice law

Massachusetts

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GL 221-46A
Defines the practice of law

Gov. Exec. Order 455 (04-04) (6)(i), (j)
Prohibits a Notary public from claiming to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of Notary Public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters; prohibits a Notary from using the term notario or notario publico or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice, or sign; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assisting another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act, or otherwise engaging in the practice of law

Michigan

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MCL 55.291(3), (4), (5), (6)
Prohibits a Notary from using the term notario publico in an advertisement; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, if a nonattorney Notary advertises in a foreign language; prohibits a Notary from claiming to have rights, powers, qualifications or privileges that the office of Notary Public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters

Mississippi

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MCA 25-33-27
Prohibits a nonattorney Notary from representing or advertising that the Notary is an immigration consultant, immigration paralegal or expert on immigration matters unless the Notary is an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the board of immigration appeals

MCA 25-33-25
Requires a nonattorney Notary who advertises in any language to include a prescribed notice, as specified

MAC 01-000-050 Rule 5.9(B), (D), (E)
Prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assisting another person in drafting, completing, selecting, or understanding a document or transaction requiring a notarial act; prohibits a Notary from claiming to have powers, qualifications, rights, or privileges that the office of Notary does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters, and using the term “notario publico” or any equivalent non-English term in any business card, advertisement, notice or sign; and requires a nonattorney Notary who advertises in a language other than English to prominently include in the advertisement, notice, letterhead or sign a prescribed notice, as specified, including the fees for notarial acts

Montana

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MCA 1-5-625(1)(g), (3)(a)-(d)
Prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from practicing law; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, when advertising services; clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters, or to assist persons in drafting legal records, given legal advice or otherwise practice law, represent a person in an immigration matter or receive compensation for engaging in these activities; requires a nonattorney Notary who advertises services in a foreign language to include a prescribed notice, as specified, and the fees specified in Section 302

Nebraska

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NRS 64-105.03
Prohibits a Notary from claiming to have rights, powers, qualifications or privileges that the office of Notary Public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters; prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico in an advertisement; requires a nonattorney Notary to post a prescribed notice, as specified, in a foreign-language advertisement; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assisting another person in drafting, completing, selecting or understanding a document requiring a notarial act

Nevada

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NRS 240.085; 240A.240
Prohibits a Notary or employer of a Notary from using notario publico; requires a written notice, as specified, if a nonattorney Notary advertises in a language other than English

New Jersey

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NJSA 2C:21-31
Defines immigration consultant and specifies crimes for an immigration consultants not licensed as an attorney

New Mexico

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NMSA 36-3-1 et seq.
Defines immigration consultant; defines unauthorized practice of law and states the purpose of the Act is to prevent the unauthorized practice of law by nonlawyers who hold themselves out as immigration consultants rendering services in immigration, nationality or citizenship matters and who are outside pertinent federal regulations regulating the practice of immigration law

14-12A-15(E)
Prohibits a Notary from claiming to have rights, powers, qualifications or privileges that the office of Notary Public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters; prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico in an advertisement

New York

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Gen. Bus. Law 460(d)
Prohibits an immigration assistance services provider from using, assuming or advertising in any language the title Notary Public, notario, notario public, immigration consultant, immigration specialist, accredited representative of the board of immigration appeals that could cause a customer to believe that he person possesses special professional skills or is authorized to provide advice on an immigration matter

Exec. Law 135-b(2), (3)
Requires a Notary who advertises Notary services in a foreign language to include a prescribed notice, as specified; prohibits a Notary from using terms in a foreign-language advertisement that mean or imply the Notary is an attorney licensed to practice law in NY

North Carolina

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NCGS 10B-20(j)
Prohibits a Notary from representing or advertising that the Notary is an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters unless the Notary is an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals

North Dakota

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NDCC 44-06.1-23(1), (3), (4)
Prohibits a nonattorney from using the term notario or notario public; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from practicing law; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, when advertising services; clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters, or to assist persons in drafting legal records, given legal advice or otherwise practice law, represent a person in an immigration matter or receive compensation for engaging in these activities

Oklahoma

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49 OS 6(B)
Prohibits a Notary from holding him-/herself out as having expertise in providing legal immigration advice, defines such legal advice, requires Notaries who advertises or operates a business in a foreign language to provide a written notice, as specified, in the ad or to the public; prohibits literal translation of Notary Public into Spanish, defined as notario publico or notario

Oregon

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ORS 9.280
Defines immigration consultant and prohibits acting as an IC unless one is a member of the Oregon State Bar

194.350(1), (3), (4), (5)
Prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from practicing law; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, when advertising services; clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters, or to assist persons in drafting legal records, given legal advice or otherwise practice law, represent a person in an immigration matter or receive compensation for engaging in these activities646.608)
Clarifies a person engages in an unlawful practice if he/she acts as an immigration consultant

Pennsylvania

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57 Pa.C.S. 325
Clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters

South Carolina

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SCC 26-1-90(I), (J), (K), (L)
Prohibits a Notary from claiming to have rights, powers, qualifications or privileges that the office of Notary Public does not provide, including the power to counsel on immigration matters; prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico in an advertisement; requires a nonattorney Notary to post a prescribed notice, as specified, in a foreign-language advertisement; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assisting another person in drafting, completing, selecting or understanding a document requiring a notarial act

Tennessee

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TCA 8-16-402)
Prohibits a Notary from representing or advertising that the Notary Public is an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters unless the Notary Public is an accredited representative of an organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals

Texas

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Gov’t Code 406.017(a)(4)
Classifies as a Class A misdemeanor the offense of a person using the phrase notario or notario publico to advertise the services of a Notary; or the offense of advertising services in a language other than English if the person doesn’t post the written notice, as specified

1 TAC 87.11(a)(5), (a)(14), (a)(15)
Classifies as “good cause” for the purpose of revocation of a Notary’s commission a Notary using the term notario or notario public in advertising or offering the services of a Notary, advertising and holding out in any manner that the Notary is an immigration specialist or consultant, or any other title or description reflecting expertise in immigration matters, and using false or misleading advertising of either an oral or written nature, whereby the Notary has represented or indicated that he or she has duties, rights, powers, or privileges that are not possessed by law

Utah

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UCA 13-49-304(b)
Prohibits an immigration consultant, with the intent to mislead, from literally translating, from English into another language, words or titles, including, in any document, including an advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other comparable written material describing the immigration consultant

Virginia

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COV 47.1-15.1
Prohibits a nonattorney Notary from providing legal advice in immigration matters or represent anyone in immigration proceedings unless authorized by 8 CFR 292.2; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assuming or advertising the title of notario publico in a language other than English

Washington

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RCW 19.154.010 et seq.
Prohibits individuals who are not licensed to practice law or permitted to represent others under federal law in an immigration matter from practicing law in an immigration matter for compensation; and also prohibits these individuals from engaging in certain acts, as specified, for compensation; prohibits Notaries from using the term notario public unless the Notary is an attorney

West Virginia

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WVC 39-4-23(a), (c), (d)
Prohibits a nonattorney attorney from using the term notario or notario publico; prohibits a nonattorney Notary from practicing law; requires posting of a prescribed notice, as specified, when advertising services; clarifies that a Notary commission does not authorize a Notary to act as an immigration consultant or expert on immigration matters, or to assist persons in drafting legal records, give legal advice or otherwise practice law, represent a person in an immigration matter or receive compensation for engaging in these activities

Wisconsin

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WS 137.01(1)(i)
Prohibits a Notary from stating or implying he or she is an attorney licensed to practice law; soliciting or accepting compensation to prepare documents for or otherwise represent the interests of another person in a judicial or administrative proceeding, including in an immigration proceeding, using the phrase notario, notario public, notarizaciones, notarizamos or Notary Public or otherwise advertising in a language other than English if the advertisement fails to include a prescribed notice, as specified, and the fees a Notary may charge



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