Q: Hello, Does anyone know Ohio's laws regarding providing non-legal immigration services?
For example, according to USCIS, Anyone is allowed to give you limited help such as read you the form, translate information, write down information that you provide to complete the form, and help gather documents such as birth certificates necessary for the application. I fully understand this does NOT include offering legal advice such as discussing potential paths for an immigrant, recommending which application to submit, or representing them in court.
Most states have specific requirements and restrictions for this type of non-legal service, but I have not found any such information for Ohio. Does anyone have knowledge on this?
Edited 1/9/20: As I stated in my question, I am FULLY aware of the difference between NON-legal services vs. offering legal advice and engaging in unauthorized practice of the law. I do not need a lecture on this topic. I need to know Ohio's specific regulations and rules for providing NON-legal services, as is common in other states such as California.
A: The USCIS warns people to seek accredited representatives and those who are licensed to practice law. Otherwise, people have been known to get into trouble.
When someone advises and instructs you on how to do a legal process, such as selecting the proper forms and helping you answer the questions, then they are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
There are regulations that need to be enforced, but USCIS is not in any financial position to do so. As a result, the USCIS will determine that you misrepresented the answer to a question, where you were steered into answering it in a manner that was a material misrepresentation or you signed a blank form and someone filled it out improperly after you left.
In general, States have tried to regulate conduct, so they can limit unlawful activity. However, the States do a questionable job. It’s best to find a competent and experienced immigration attorney before there are any other complications. Good luck!
Yanky Perelmuter agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.