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3 Reasons To Become An Immigration Forms Specialist

3 Reasons To Become An Immigration Forms Specialist

Notaries often encounter customers who need help with immigration paperwork. While Notaries are strictly prohibited from offering unauthorized legal advice or representing immigrants in court appearances, 14 states allow limited assistance to immigrants such as translating answers on immigration forms, securing supporting documents such as birth certificates or making referrals to attorneys who can provide authorized legal representation in immigration matters.

In these states you can become an immigration forms specialist, provided that you meet the necessary requirements, which often include registering with the state, posting a bond and following advertising restrictions.

Here are 3 reasons Notaries should consider becoming immigration forms specialists:

1. Community Service:
 

If permitted by your state, becoming a properly trained and registered immigration forms specialist is a way to help ensure that immigrant customers in your area have a trustworthy and law-abiding resource to turn to if they need help with services that don’t involve legal advice or representation.

2. Expanding Your Service Offerings:
 

Becoming an immigration forms specialist provides opportunities to grow your business by offering additional services to your customers, though you must always be sure to follow state laws regarding advertising restrictions — for example, California does not allow persons advertising as immigration experts or counselors to also advertise as Notaries Public.

3. Earn Extra Income:
 

Because Notaries are limited by state law what they may charge for each notarization, becoming an immigration forms specialist is one of many options that can provide a Notary with additional income.

If you are interested in becoming an immigration forms specialist, be sure to follow your state rules regarding immigration-related services. Also, four states — Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina and Tennessee — do not permit nonattorneys to offer immigration-related services. 

David Thun is an Associate Editor at the National Notary Association.

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40 Comments

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Nawal O Antoin

20 Jul 2017

How do I apply or register to become an immigration forms specialist for my Michigan State

National Notary Association

27 Jul 2017

Hello. Information on Michigan Immigration Clerical Assistants can be found at the following links: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-61343_35414_60647_35462-114394--,00.html and http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2013-2014/publicact/pdf/2014-PA-0174.pdf

LaToya

06 Aug 2017

How do apply or register to become an immigration specialist in the state of Georgia?

National Notary Association

08 Aug 2017

Hello. Please see the Georgia Secretary of State's website for more information: http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/27 and http://sos.ga.gov/plb/acrobat/Forms/84%20Application%20for%20Registration%20Immigration%20Assistance%20Provider.pdf

David Miller

15 Aug 2017

How do apply or register to become an immigration specialist in the state of Florida?

National Notary Association

17 Aug 2017

Florida has not set standards for Immigration Forms Specialists. Registration or certification is not required. Non-lawyers may assist in basic preparation of forms only. This may include reading, translating and completing forms. Anything else, such as advising or promising to represent an applicant, is unlawful.

Gerale Teus

24 Nov 2017

Hi, How do I register or become an immigration specialist for the state of Maryland

National Notary Association

25 Jan 2018

Hello. If you have questions about signing up for training with the NNA, please call 1-844-855-6761.

Alexis Carter

25 Jan 2018

I've gone over the website but I'm still confused on how to become a specialists. Any insight?

Alexis Carter

25 Jan 2018

Oh, I'm in MD

National Notary Association

25 Jan 2018

Hello. Maryland permits Immigration Forms Specialists to provide immigration assistance. If you have questions about signing up for training with the NNA, please call 1-844-855-6761.

Grace kim

20 Feb 2018

Hello, how do I apply in the state of New York? Also, is this the same as the immigration service provider certification that the USCIS requires people who want to practice immigration services ?

National Notary Association

20 Feb 2018

Hello. No, Immigration Forms Specialists (known as Immigration Assistance Providers in New York) may not provide legal advice and may not represent a client in an immigration proceeding before USCIS. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/what-is-an-immigration-forms-specialist

Sylvia Cerline

01 May 2018

Does the state of Virginia allow this training

National Notary Association

02 May 2018

Hello Virginia prohibits a nonattorney Notary from providing legal advice in immigration matters or representing anyone in immigration proceedings unless they are a member of a charitable organization approved to represent immigrants before USCIS under 8 CFR 292.2. Virginia also prohibits a nonattorney Notary from assuming or advertising the title of "notario publico" in a language other than English.

Mina Eskander

01 May 2018

How to become in California?

National Notary Association

02 May 2018

Hello. Please see this article for more information on California requirements: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2016/10/notary-guide-california-rules-immigration-consultants. Also, you can find more information about the NNA's Immigration Forms training course here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration

Liz

31 May 2018

Does Pennsylvania have this training?

National Notary Association

01 Jun 2018

Hello. Please see here for more information on Pennsylvania: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules

Jaine

27 Jun 2018

How can I apply from Kentucky to be a specialist?

Mya Byrd

19 Jul 2018

How do I apply in the state of Texas?

National Notary Association

19 Jul 2018

Hello Mya. If you are a Texas Notary, please be aware that non-attorney Notaries in Texas may not use the term “Notario” or “Notario Publico” in advertising (GC 406.17) and may not advertise as immigration consultants or immigration service providers (1 TAC 87.11). For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules and this article: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2015/10/state-laws-notaries-immigration

Jane Farrell

28 Aug 2018

Does New Jersey allow Immigration Form Specialist?

National Notary Association

30 Aug 2018

Hello. The NNA has learned that the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has investigated and served notices to Notaries Public who advertise and offer “Notary Public” and “immigration” services for violations under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and the regulations governing general advertising practices. For additional information, please see the listing for New Jersey under "States That Limit or Prohibit Immigration Consultants/Assistants and 'Notario' in Advertisements" at this page: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules

Chenille Somers

25 Sep 2018

How can I register to become Immigration Forms Specialist in Florida? If no certification is required do you offer courses on immigration forms?

National Notary Association

28 Sep 2018

Hello. Florida does not have laws or rules that specifically authorize, or specifically prohibit, non-legal immigration services such as immigration forms help. Please see here for a list of states that have rules and restrictions: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules For more FAQs, please visit: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/immigration-forms-specialist-faq The NNA offers a course on learning to fill out immigration forms. For more information please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration

Brantley. Bernetta

15 Oct 2018

What about Ohio, I dont see it listed as state where it can ge done

National Notary Association

17 Oct 2018

We are not aware of any restrictions in your state that specifically authorize, or specifically prohibit, non-legal immigration services such as immigration forms help. Please see here for a list of states that have rules and restrictions: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules For more FAQs, please visit: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/immigration-forms-specialist-faq

Jan

19 Nov 2018

How do I become a closing agent in MS

National Notary Association

19 Nov 2018

Hello. If you are interested in becoming a Notary Signing Agent in Mississippi, you can find information here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/mississippi/signing-agent

Jonathan Santiago-Vega

26 Feb 2019

How do I become an Immigration Forms Specialist in Alabama?

National Notary Association

01 Mar 2019

Hello. You can find information about the NNA's Immigration Forms Specialist training here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration. For more FAQs, please visit: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/immigration-forms-specialist-faq.

yekaterina kleyman

03 Mar 2019

I am an tax specialist I want to provide service as immigration forms specialist also

National Notary Association

04 Mar 2019

Hello. You can find more information here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/immigration-forms-specialist-faq

Ibett

19 Mar 2019

How about in Houston, TX I have just received my Notary License and Paralegal Certification. Do I need to be licensed in Houston, TX to do Immigration Paperwork?

National Notary Association

20 Mar 2019

Hello. Texas restricts its Notaries from advertising or offering immigration-related services. For more information, please see here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/immigration/knowledge-center/state-immigration-consulting-rules

Jason

18 Jul 2019

What are immigration assistance providers in New York allowed to charge? Thank you.

National Notary Association

22 Jul 2019

Hello. Rules for immigration assistance service providers in New York can be found under Gen. Bus. Law 460-a et seq: (https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/A28-C).

Ahmed Said

03 Aug 2019

Does Indiana allow Immigration Form Specialist?

National Notary Association

07 Aug 2019

Hello. From the Indiana Notary Public Guide: " It is illegal for a notary public in Indiana to advertise without including the following disclosure: “I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.” If this disclosure is required to be made in a written advertisement, the disclosure must appear in a conspicuous size. If the notary disclosure is required to be made in a spoken advertisement, the notary disclosure must be spoken at normal speed and at a normal volume."

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