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Utah Bill To Regulate Immigration Consultants Introduced In Senate

A bill introduced in Utah aims to regulate non-attorney “immigration consultants” and curb the practice of individuals scamming immigrants by performing unauthorized practices of law and offering fraudulent services.

Under SB144, introduced by Salt Lake City Sen. Luz Robles, all non-attorney immigration consultants will be required to:

  • Register with the state Division of Consumer Protection,
  • Undergo a criminal background check, and
  • Post a bond.

The bill also creates a standardized complaint process by which victims can report scams. The bill arrives in the wake of a nationwide crackdown against so-called “immigration consultants” who prey on foreign national by offering legal assistance they are unauthorized to provide. In Utah, as with many states, the guilty parties often offer multiple services to immigrants, including money orders, tax preparation services, and translation.

As this bill joins other similar bills on the way to the Senate, Notaries are reminded that the best way they can serve and protect their immigrant clients is to remain vigilant in their role and never offer advice or assistance that could be considered unauthorized practice of law. This includes:

  • Advising clients which forms to use or notarize
  • Explaining or translating documents to be notarized
  • Drafting documents for clients
  • Offering legal advice to clients

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