What Is an Immigration Forms Specialist?

Simply put, an Immigration Forms Specialist (IFS) is someone who helps people complete immigration forms to enter and live in the United States.

There are many USCIS forms immigrants need help with, like the I-485 (to become a permanent resident or “green card holder”) and the N-400 (application for U.S. citizenship).

To fill out these official forms correctly requires English-language fluency. Strong attention to detail is needed to prepare the submission packages to meet the requirements of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Do you have to be an Immigration Forms Specialist to help people with their immigration forms?

No. Anyone with the know-how may provide limited help with immigration forms. However, there may be state rules and requirements you must observe.

Other names for Immigration Forms Specialist

State regulations vary, and so do the terms the states use. Here are the official terms recognized by the following states:

  • California: Immigration Consultant
  • Georgia: Immigration Assistance Provider
  • Illinois: Immigration Assistance Service Provider
  • Maryland: Immigration Consultant
  • Michigan: Immigration Clerical Assistant
  • Minnesota: Immigration Assistance Provider
  • Nevada: Document Preparation Services Provider
  • New York: Immigration Assistance Provider
  • Utah: Immigration Consultant

What Immigration Forms Specialists can and can’t do

The primary service an IFS provides is helping people complete immigration forms and prepare packages for submission to USCIS.

To fill out a person’s immigration documents thoroughly, an IFS may perform additional services. These services may include translating the applicant’s answers to questions on the forms and collecting required support documents, such as birth certificates.

An Immigration Forms Specialist is not allowed to perform services that an attorney or accredited representative would provide, such as explaining immigration options, giving advice about which immigration forms to use, or representing a client at an immigration hearing.

Other categories of immigration service providers

The assistance immigrants need differs from person to person and family to family. To support the various needs, there are three types of people who can help:

  • Immigration Forms Specialists
  • Accredited representatives
  • Licensed attorneys

Federal and state laws dictate the kinds of services these providers can offer based on their qualifications.


Grow your career as an Immigration Forms Specialist

Notaries, tax preparers and other professionals who regularly handle official documents are well-equipped to add immigration form preparation to their business.