By Nadine A. Brown, Esq.
Finding Immigration Help – Notarios-Consultorios-Lawyers
In the field of Immigration there are consultants, paralegals, notary publics and attorneys. Each may be able to help you complete the Immigration Forms you need to apply for work authorization or any benefit. But remember not all of them are good or qualified to assist you. Unlike many countries in Latin American and the Caribbean, in the United States a notary public is not always a lawyer. A Lawyer must go to law school and take a certification exam that qualifies him or her to represent clients in various legal matters. In the field of Immigration Law, a consultant, paralegal or notary public are not lawyers. They are not qualified to advise, represent or advocate for clients. They can only complete forms and prepare applications for people who may or may not be qualified for the Green Card or Work Authorization. Many people who use them find themselves in deportation proceedings because they apply for work authorization or residency with the help of a consultant, paralegal or notary public who did not determine the applicant’s eligibility. Be ware anyone who charges a cheap fee or very expensive fee and promises that they can get you a Green Card. No one can guarantee the outcome of a process they do not control.
Immigration lawyers can facilitate and advocate for the applicant. An immigration lawyer can determine whether you qualify for an immigration benefit and whether you have all the proof necessary to win your case. They can help fix your immigration problem or help you choose the right option for you. They may sometimes be expensive but there are many to choose from. Choose one with whom you feel comfortable and trust. If you cannot afford a lawyer, there are church organizations and the Lawyer’s association that may provide free or very cheap legal assistance. The notable agencies in Central Florida are the Catholic Immigration & Refugee Services (407) 658-0110 or the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (407) 841-8310. Call them for further information and to determine if you qualify or find a good immigration attorney by asking your friends, consulting the phone book or contact the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association at (800) 954-0254.