Members of the immigrant community, beware! As more and more attention is placed on immigration in the media, more and more instances of fraud have been occuring. We have heard reports of notaries in the United States preying upon immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries, claiming that they can provide legal advice and help you with your immigration case.
Let’s get this straight: In the United States, a “notary” is not the same thing as a “notario” or “abogado” in your home country. A notary public here in the United States is simply someone who is authorized to serve as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents. You certainly do not need to go to law school to become a notary. In fact, in most states all a person needs to do is be at least 18 years old and take a short class. Therefore, just because someone has a sign that says “Notary Public” on their door does not mean that you should consult them for help with your immigration case or any other legal matter. They do not have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you!
In most circumstances, if you ask a U.S. notary public for legal advice, they will turn you away and tell you to find the appropriate person — referred to as a “lawyer” or an “attorney.” However, there are reports of notaries taking advantage of this misunderstanding and charging immigrants exorbitant prices for legal “advice” that doesn’t only fail to help them, but can even significantly damage their case.
Keep in mind: A legitimate attorney’s office with often have a notary public on staff to notarize documents for the firm as needed. Don’t let this scare you off. We’re not trying to tell you to avoid notaries altogether, just to be aware that they are not the same thing as lawyers!
So who can help me with my immigration case?
The attorneys at Villegas Law Office will approach your immigration concerns with integrity and honesty. We have been where you are, so we understand the confusions, frustrations, and uncertainties you face. We guide our clients through the immigration process step by step, and you can rest assured that you have a strong, focused legal team on your side. We hope you choose to partner with us! Give us a call at (956) 412-0707.