Immigration Form Preparer

Who can be an Immigration Forms Preparer?

The following rule, published in the Immigration Policy Manual visible on the USCIS website, can interpret that a preparer of immigration forms can be a U.S. licensed attorney, an accredited representative, or any person who assists another to complete an immigration form with data provided by the applicant:
"If a preparer assists an applicant for benefits in completing their application for benefits, the preparer and any other person who assisted in completing the application for benefits must provide their contact information and sign and date the application for benefits in the section indicated.
Suppose the person who helped interpret or prepare the application for benefits is an attorney or accredited representative. In that case, you must determine whether the level of involvement and the rules of professional responsibility require you to submit a signed and completed Notice of Appearance as an Attorney or Accredited Representative (Form G-28) with the application for benefits. If the individual intends to represent the benefit applicant before USCIS, a completed Form G-28 must be submitted. The benefit applicant's attorney or accredited representative cannot be an interpreter during the interview." (translated into Spanish)
Accordingly, an Immigration Forms Preparer who is not an attorney, accredited representative, or working under the supervision of an attorney may:
  1. Assist applicants with any petition before USCIS in the United States to complete immigration forms with information supplied by the applicant;
  2. Assist with translating and obtaining supporting documents, such as financial support, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates, among others that may be necessary to complete the forms and accompany the petition to the Immigration Service;
  3. Send, at the applicant's request, the completed immigration forms to the immigration authorities;
  4. Make referrals to attorneys who can legally represent an individual in an immigration matter.
Note: you can take any of our courses and learn to prepare immigration forms to work as a paralegal under the supervision of an attorney or accredited representative, in which case you would be working as their "paralegal" or offering your independent form preparation services to a law firm, in which case you would also be working under their supervision.

Proper manner of offering and rendering services if you are not working under the supervision of an attorney or accredited representative

  • When you first meet with your clients, let them know in writing that you are not an attorney, nor are you providing legal services or advice, but you are a person who can assist them in preparing their immigration forms.
  • Once you are hired, provide clients with a written contract listing the services to be provided, the documents to be prepared, and the fees for providing your services, making it clear that you will be working with the information provided (a sample contract is included in our classes to serve as a guide).
  • If you post written notices in your workplace or social media, ensure they comply with state law.
  • Timely return all original documents that a client has provided to support the client's request.
  • Retain a client's complete file for a period required by state law.

"Non-legal immigration services" are provided by Immigration Forms Preparers if they are not working under an attorney's or accredited representative's supervision.

  • The Immigration Forms Preparer is trained to provide "non-legal immigration services," which do not require the qualifications and involvement of an attorney specifically; the work translates to basic form preparation with the information provided by the applicant;
  • The Immigration Forms Preparer does not study the facts and applicable laws of an immigration case, provide advice and counsel, or represent individuals before immigration authorities. They can only help immigrants fill in blanks with the information provided on immigration forms or translate their answers to questions on such forms.

In conclusion, the Immigration Forms Preparer cannot provide legal advice or other services that an attorney would provide, such as giving legal advice to represent a client in an immigration proceeding before the U.S. Immigration Service or before the Immigration Courts.

Demand for Immigration Form Preparer Services

According to the World Population Clock (, 2024, every 28 seconds, an immigrant enters the United States, so the demand for filing applications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has grown considerably in recent years. Immigration attorneys require paralegals or legal assistants to assist them in preparing immigration forms, as well as organizations certified as accredited representatives, so there is an increasing need to hire form preparers who are trained for this task.

In another order of ideas, as it is known, there is a great majority of the immigrant population cannot afford the services of an immigration attorney, so they need someone to help them at a low cost to prepare the corresponding application form that must be made before immigration to regularize their immigration status in the United States, that is the reason why they require the services of an independent preparer.

All this guarantees a vast labor market for these professionals.

States that allow Immigration Form Preparers to provide their independent services to immigrant communities.











Nueva York


Carolina del Sur



Note: if you do not see a state in the following list, it is because there is no restriction.

States require Immigration Forms Specialists to post a surety bond.





Nueva York


States have special requirements for immigration form preparers

Arizona requires immigration consultants to be certified as legal document preparers.

California requires individuals to register as immigration consultants.

Utah requires individuals to register as immigration consultants.

Georgia requires a license to be an "immigration assistance provider".

Nevada requires persons to be licensed as a "document preparation service".

That prohibit or restrict Immigration Form Preparers from offering non-legal immigration services.
Oregon - Prohibits any person who is not an attorney and a member of the Oregon State Bar from acting as an immigration consultant.

Colorado - Prohibits non-lawyers from representing themselves as immigration consultants.

Tennessee - Prohibits notaries and other persons from representing themselves as immigration consultants unless accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

North Carolina - Prohibits any person and notaries from representing themselves as immigration consultants unless accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Prohibited Conduct for Immigration Form Preparers

  • She is advising clients on the answers to filing an immigration form beyond the information they are providing.
  • We are advising on immigration benefits and statutes available to an individual.
  • Advising clients on legal remedies on immigration that may be available to an individual.
  • Representing clients before a government agency or an immigration court unless he or she is an attorney or accredited representative authorized to represent individuals under federal law.
  • Making promises to obtain benefits in an immigration matter if you do not have a firm basis for making the promise.
  • In some states, using terms such as "immigration consultant" or "immigration specialist" or other description in advertising to indicate that you have expertise in immigration matters.
  • Withholding documents from a client.
  • Making false or misleading statements to a client.
  • Making any statement that you can or will obtain special favors.