USCIS warns against using U.S. “immigration specialists” over U.S. Immigration Lawyers in the Philippines

Those seeking the advice of unlicensed “immigration specialists” instead of licensed U.S. immigration lawyers in the Philippines should be forewarned that the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has started to take an aggressive approach to combating these services as these individuals are not authorized to practice law in the United States and certainly not authorized to provide immigration assistance in the Philippines.According to the USCIS, aliens in need of assistance are easily victimized by these so-called specialists and instead of receiving the necessary help they require, they often fall into a worse position as a result
of erroneous advice.Often, these immigration specialists who can be found all over the Philippines and online, claim that they know somebody in the embassy or inside USCIS and because of their connections, they can guarantee that the applicant will receive a visa for an exceptionally high fee.  However, individual applicants should be warned in advance that not even U.S. immigration lawyers in the Philippines or in the U.S. can guarantee that an individual will have a successful visa approval and although it looks tempting, remember the wise old saying of “if it’s too good to be true, than it probably is.”Finally, it is important to note that immigration specialists are not authorized to issue legal advice regarding U.S. immigration matters.  Examples of legal advice may include how to answer questions on immigration forms and the immigration options the applicant or petitioner may have.  It is equally important to remember that a specialist who is not a lawyer cannot represent you in court nor are specialists bound by the attorney-client privilege which means that anything you say to an attorney during the course of representation is confidential.  Thus, while a Philippine-based U.S. immigration lawyer (or any lawyer for that matter) is forbidden to divulge your secrets, no such rule applies to “specialists” who are not lawyers.Individuals seeking assistance with US visas in the Philippines are urged to use a US Immigration Firm.

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