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Busting an Immigration Myth: Notary Publics Aren’t Lawyers! - Katrina S. Zafiro

Busting an Immigration Myth: Notary Publics Aren’t Lawyers!

At Zafiro Law, we like to keep on top of everything happening in the world of immigration. While that often means keeping up to date with the latest changes to the law, it also sometimes means learning about scams that target immigrants. In today’s blog post, we’re uncovering one of those scams — a trend of people taking advantage of a common misconception in immigrant communities. Read on to learn more!

You may have heard that a notary public can offer you legal advice in the United States. This is not the case. These people are not lawyers! While the phrase “notary public” translates into Spanish as notario publico, a phrase used in many Latin American countries to refer to people who are lawyers, U.S. notary publics have a very different job. U.S. notary publics can sign and notarize documents to certify that the person whose name is on a paper is the same person who physically wrote the signature. It is quite easy to become a notary public and most banks, post offices, and other institutions have at least one notary public present at all times. U.S. notary publics are NOT required to have any legal training. U.S. notary publics CANNOT give you legal advice.

There is a common issue in which a U.S. notary public will take advantage of this misleading translation and charge immigrants to “help” them with immigration paperwork, even though they lack the training needed to advise you in such a way. We’ve often heard of immigrants who fall into this trap and suffer major consequences for mistakes in their paperwork. This can lead to petitions getting rejected and even deportation. As USCIS gets stricter and stricter, it is more important than ever to get everything right the first time, which means working with an experienced immigration attorney and NOT a notary public.

Don’t fall for this fraudulent behavior. If you need help with an immigration matter, contact a licenced attorney with the knowledge and experience necessary to truly help you. At Zafiro Law, we are committed to serving our clients with accessibility, personal attention to their case, and an approach based on honesty and integrity. Contact our team today. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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Zafiro Law

As an attorney, I am passionate about helping my clients achieve peace of mind in navigating the complex areas of family law and immigration law. Your case will get my full and dedicated attention—whether you are seeking to navigate the complexities of your family law matter or overcome the challenges of your immigration law case.

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