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Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
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Immigrants seeking advice for visas and other legal status must be aware of their rights. Any person providing immigration assistance services who is not a licensed attorney or a representative of a nonprofit organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals must register as an Immigration Services Provider with the Illinois Attorney General's office and submit verification of malpractice insurance or of a surety bond.

Signs must be posted at the Immigration Services Provider's office in English and the languages in which the office provides assistance. The signs must explain that the Immigration Services Provider is not an attorney and cannot give legal advice. The signs must also disclose the fees charged for services and contain a statement regarding your three day right of cancellation.

Immigration Services Providers:

  • Cannot charge more than $5 per classroom hour for English or civics courses;

  • Cannot tell you they can obtain special favors with the Office of Homeland Security (U.S. immigration services) or any other government agency;

  • Cannot refuse to return documents that were prepared for a customer or paid for by a customer if a customer asks for the documents;

  • Must provide you with a contract in English and your native language that explains the services and charges;

  • Must provide you with a copy of the contract after it has been signed;

  • Cannot retain your money for services not performed.

You have 72 hours or three business days (excluding Sunday) after you sign your contract to cancel it. The Immigration Service Provider must tell you in the contract how you can cancel. Remember: Do not sign any papers you do not fully understand.

Immigration Services Providers completing immigration forms are allowed to charge the following fees:

  • $10 per immigration form completion;

  • $10 per page for the translation of a non-English language into English where such translation is required for immigration forms;

  • $1 for notarizing immigration forms;

  • $3 to perform any procedures necessary to obtain a document required to complete immigration forms; and

  • A maximum of $75 for one complete immigration application.

For all other services, Immigration Services providers are not allowed to charge more than $5 per quarter hour ($20 per hour).

Notaries Public are not attorneys. Notaries, travel agents or insurance agents are not allowed to advise you on immigration matters or other legal matters; however, if they are registered with the Attorney General's Office as an Immigration Service Provider, they may assist you in preparing forms and give English or civics instruction.

TTY: 1-800-964-3013

TTY: 877-844-5461

TTY: 877-675-9339

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