In many countries, there are different types of attorneys that practice in different areas of law. An attorney who works with papers and forms may be called by a different title than one who attends court proceedings. In the United States, this is not the case, and many different types of attorneys carry the same title. This can cause a lot of confusion to newcomers, who will rely on people with the title “notario” or “notary” to perform legal tasks which they are not licensed to perform.
For example, in many Latin American countries such as Mexico, the term “notario” is used for a transactional attorney, or someone who may help you fill papers. When many Latin Americans then arrive in the United States, they hear the term “notario” and believe them to be a licensed attorney, but this is not the case.
Here, the term “notary” is used for a person whose sole job is to stamp a document and verify that a person signed the document in front of them and that the signature is genuine. In the United States, a notario has received no legal training, is not licensed to practice law in any way, and is not licensed to do anything other than confirm the identity of a person signing a document.
Unfortunately, this confusion between terms and translations can be used inappropriately and illegally to convince people to hire the notario to provide immigration legal services. The notario may be trying to provide services with good or bad, fraudulent intentions. But it can cause real harm, resulting in deportation, disqualification from eligibility for benefits, or money and time lost.
No matter a notario’s intentions, do not hire a notario to provide legal services.
The United States legal system, and especially immigration law, are very complex. It is important that you receive assistance with your case from a licensed attorney with specialized knowledge of immigration law. Please contact us directly for a full consultation and detailed explanation of your case. If we find that you have been harmed by a notary, we have many years of experience in correcting these problems and may be able to assist you in making these corrections.