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Client Got Screwed at the Embassy

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Our client got screwed at the embassy. Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our offices in St. Louis, Missouri and San Diego, California. Wait until you hear about this one. This is something that I haven’t heard before. Now, one of the great things about being an immigration lawyer as long as I have is that you constantly hear things that you’ve never heard before. And you think that you’ve heard it all. You think that you’ve heard of every way people can get into trouble or have mistakes with their case, or just things go wrong with their case. But then you hear something that you haven’t heard before. Wait until I tell you about this. So we have a client who we filed a lawsuit for. So the client hired us because he had filed for an immigration petition for his spouse, and the spouse got the case approved at USCIS. It went through its normal course, took about seven or eight months.

And then the case got sent to the embassy, and the couple hired a notario. Now a notario is a non-lawyer who’s giving immigration advice. And you see these at all the embassies around the world. There’s notarios in America who act like they’re lawyers. And they might say that they’re form fillers or they help prepare immigration documents, things like that. But at the embassies, they’re these people who make money on the side helping people file their applications. And we’ve seen these people at the embassy, they’re sort of like parasites, they’re sort of like little things that sort of feed off the energy at the embassy. What I mean by that is that they find people who are sort of desperate to get their immigration case approved. They take a fee, which is less than an attorney would charge. And then they just file a bunch of crap, and a lot of it’s wrong, and it’s incorrect. Now in this particular case, the couple told us, and we filed a lawsuit that said that they had filed all this paperwork at the embassy.

Well, it turns out that the notario just stole their money, and never actually filed anything. Their case is still between USCIS and the embassy. And it’s a big old mess, because we’re going to have to dismiss the lawsuit because they never followed through. They never did what they were supposed to do on their end. So the delay in fact was the notario’s fault. But of course the notario’s in the wind, the notario’s got the money and they’re gone, right? So you can’t ever, that’s one of the things about dealing with notarios is they have no oversight. There’s not like lawyers who have a bar license, and the state that they practice in sort of governs what they can do. And you always have that recourse of going to the state. But with a notario you don’t. And so this couple is really screwed. They may have to start over. They have certainly lost months and months of time together. And the case was a big old mess.

So the lesson, my friends, is don’t use notarios, don’t use notarios here, and don’t find form fillers or embassy helpers or anything you want to call it in all these other countries. We’ve been seeing it more and more. We’ve been seeing people take advantage of. And I just wanted to share this with you as a danger story, a story that is a warning to you not to do what our clients did. I really don’t know what we’re going to do. I think we’re going to have to start over. I got a call into them to try to talk it through. But it’s a big old mess. And they may very well have to start all over. So don’t deal with people who are not lawyers, who don’t know what they’re doing, who are just going to take your money and run.

Now on this one, it’s the worst of all. Usually they just file crap forms, and I’ve seen them file false forms. So that actually probably is a little worse than not filing any forms at all, but here they just stole the money. It was just a scam. And so don’t get taken advantage of, if you need help with an immigration application, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. We’re not going to steal your money and run. Make sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. And also don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, and every Tuesday and Thursday around noon central time, I’ll be live in those two places in the Immigrant Home Facebook group and on the YouTube channel, answering as many of your questions as I can in under one hour. Thanks a lot, have a great day.

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