Ana Maria Bazan
Law Firm P.C.

Honesty and Reliability
Servicios Honestos y Confiables
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How to find Honest and Reliable Immigration Representation

  1. EXPLAIN PROCESS IN FULL. Immigration law is expansive and covers many complex rules and regulations with very specific deadlines and cut off dates. When you speak to the attorney, make sure he or she explains the process in full detail and takes the time to explain to you in a way that you can understand.

  2. EXPERIENCE IN PARTICULAR AREA.   Ask if they have experience in the particular area you need within the immigration field. For instance, not all immigration attorneys handle detention/removal cases.

  3. LICENSED ATTORNEY.  Make sure that the person is an attorney licensed to practice anywhere in the U.S. or is an accredited representative authorized by the BIA. For New York Attorneys, you can check the New York State Attorney Directory provided by the New York State Unified Court System at 212-428-2800 or https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/attorney/AttorneySearch#search_result.  You can check if someone is an accredited Representative by calling the BIA at 703-305-9029.

  4. RETAINER AGREEMENT.  Obtain a retainer agreement that specifies all the work that needs to be done and the payments that you need to make. Make sure you understand this contract and ask questions if you do not. Get a receipt when you make a payment and do not sign anything you do not fully understand.

  5. RAPPORT WITH ATTORNEY.  Establish a rapport with the Attorney. Don’t be shy about asking questions. You should feel comfortable and satisfied with the responses he or she gives you. You will be discussing stressful and delicate matters with this person on an ongoing basis. This is why it is important that you feel you could trust him or her.

  6. IMMIGRATION PREPARERS.  Immigration Preparers are not licensed to practice law and cannot give legal advice. They are people who complete forms for you for a lower fee (sometimes not so low). Immigration Preparers do not necessarily have an understanding of the law; instead of helping you, they may end up hurting your case even if they have the best intentions. This can have serious consequences for you. The Immigration Service can refer your case to court and place you in removal proceedings. This also applies to Legal Permanent residents who are applying to Naturalize and become United States citizens.

  7. VICTIMS OF FRAUD.  Do not become a victim of fraud. Do not make assumptions about a person just because they look good to you or you have seen them on television so you assume they must be legitimate. Do not believe the Immigration Preparer if they make guarantees and be suspicious about statements that sound too good to be true. Be mindful if they tell you they have connections with the Immigration Service or pretend you will receive special treatment. See our helpful links under contacts for reliable non-profit organizations in New York.

  8. COMPLAINTS. Government agencies are cracking down on Immigration Preparers that have defrauded their clients by closing down their businesses. If you have been a victim of fraud by an Immigration Preparer you should contact the NYS Attorney General’s office at 1(800)771-7755 or the District Attorney’s office http://manhattanda.org/victimservices/immigrant_affairs.shtml the New York Department of Consumer Affairs at 311 or www.nyc.gov/consumers or the New York State Consumer Protection Board at 1(800)697-1220 or www.nysconsumer.gov.

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