What Is an Immigration Forms Specialist?

An Immigration Forms Specialist (IFS) helps applicants for U.S. residency and citizenship complete immigration forms. An Immigration Forms Specialist may also help with translation and obtaining supporting documents, such as birth certificates, which may be necessary to complete immigration forms. An Immigration Forms Specialist is not permitted to offer legal advice or other services that an attorney would provide, such as representing a client in an immigration proceeding before the USCIS. Some states use specific terminology to classify Immigration Forms Specialist, which include:

  • 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 Service Provider
  • New York: Immigration Assistance Provider
  • Utah: Immigration Consultant

What Is an Immigration Service Provider?

Authorized Immigration Service Providers are:

  • Attorneys in good standing.
  • Representatives accredited by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and working for EOIR-recognized organizations.

Authorized immigration service providers are authorized to give advice about which documents to submit, explain immigration options, and communicate with USCIS about an individual’s case. Unless they are also attorneys or EOIR-accredited representatives, Immigration Forms Specialists are not immigration service providers as defined by federal law.

Common U.S. Immigration Status Requests

The two most common statuses sought by immigrants coming to the United States are permanent residency and citizenship. A permanent resident, or “green card holder,” is an individual who is not a U.S. citizen but has been granted the right to permanently reside in the United States. An immigrant who meets certain requirements may also apply to become a full U.S. citizen.

An Immigration Forms Specialist (immigration consultant, assistant or document preparer) is not authorized to give legal advice or answer questions regarding a customer’s status. Any legal questions a person has regarding immigration status should be directed to a qualified immigration attorney or authorized immigration counselor.

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.