CA Assembly Bill 60 | NNA
Law

CA Assembly Bill 60

Notary Law Update: CA Assembly Bill 60

State: California

Summary:

Assembly Bill 60 prohibits an immigration consultant from charging an advance fee for services to any person under the immigration reform act, which includes any acts by Congress after October 5, 2013 or any future executive actions by the president, including the action announced on November 20, 2014.

Signed:  June 17, 2015

Effective:  June 17, 2015

Chapter: 6

Affects:

Amends Sections 6240, 6242, 22442.5, and 22442.6 of the Business and Professions Code

Changes:
  1. Prohibits an immigration consultant from charging an advance fee or advance payment of funds for services to any person under the immigration reform act, as defined, or for requests for Expanded Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence under an immigration reform act as defined in Section 22442.5(B)(1)(b) of the Business and Professions Code, before the issuance and effective date of new guidelines and regulations for those provisional waivers; and further prohibits charging an advance fee or advance payment for any relief offered under any executive action announced or executive order issued, on or after the effective date of the act adding this subparagraph, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa to attain a lawful status under federal law, before the executive action or order has been implemented and the relief is available.
  2. Defines the immigration reform act to include any acts by Congress after October 5, 2013 or any future executive actions by the president, including the action announced on November 20, 2014, that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who entered the United States without inspection, who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa, or who stayed beyond an approved period pursuant to a visa, to attain a lawful status under federal law or to otherwise remain in the country.
Analysis:

In California, the business of acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant is a licensed profession under the California Business and Professions Code. An immigration consultant provides limited, non-legal immigration services to individuals who would otherwise have to retain an attorney to provide legal services at considerably higher cost. Many immigration consultants are also Notaries Public. An immigration consultant is prohibited from demanding or accepting the advance payment of any advance fees from a person before the enactment of an immigration reform act that is enacted after October 5, 2013, and before January 1, 2017, and requires refund of any fees received to the client promptly, but no later than 30 days after receipt. AB 60 revises the definition of an immigration reform act to include any immigration reform act enacted after October 5, 2013, the President's executive actions on immigration announced on November 20, 2014, or any future executive action or order that authorizes an undocumented immigrant who either entered the United States without inspection or who did not depart after the expiration of a nonimmigrant visa, to attain a lawful status under federal law. AB 60 provides that that an immigration consultant may not demand or accept the advance payment of any funds for immigration reform act services in connection with requests for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, requests for Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, expanded Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence, or other future relief, as provided, under federal law. Because of the the prospect that many immigrants applying for relief afforded by the president’s action last fall would be charged up-front fees for services not envisioned under the statute, AB 60 broadens the immigration-related actions subject to the prohibition for advance fees. Because it is not known when immigrants will be able to apply for relief under the president’s executive action, the bill was enacted as an urgency statute and takes immediate effect.

Read the bill text.

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