Not only couldn’t I afford an attorney, but I lost over $1,000 with a very well-known visa agency whose overseas staff were totally clueless! If I had listened to them, my fiance’s K1 application would have been swiftly rejected. It was after ditching this agency and completing the rest of the process alone and without help that I realized what a “scam” most of the companies are out there. After arriving with my fiance to the United States and successfully completing her Adjustment of Status (Green Card) process, I decided to launch K1 Only to offer a MUCH cheaper and more helpful alternative to all the K1 couples out there who have enough things to worry about; they shouldn’t have to worry about being scammed and lied to as well.
We’re Neither Lawyers Or Legal Document Preparers
We make every effort to clarify on our website that we are not a law firm, and are not legally allowed to offer legal advice or represent you in court. The detailed Disclaimer and Terms are displayed at the bottom of every page on our website, but we also wish to reaffirm some items here as well:
- We can’t represent you before USCIS or in a court of law
- We can’t give you legal advice, including what forms to choose, what public benefits to apply for, what immigration status to apply for, how best to answer a question, or so forth
- We can’t “coach” you in preparation for an immigration interview
- We can’t claim to be any sort of legal experts
- We can’t charge hefty fees or retainers
- Etc, etc
According to the USCIS, non-attorneys are allowed to offer paid consultation services in regard to a K1 visa application processes, as long as it doesn’t include so-called legal advice, and as long as the services are limited in scope and cost a relatively “small” amount (i.e. compared to a lawyer):
You can file USCIS forms yourself, but many people choose to have help. Someone who is not an authorized immigration service provider is only allowed to: Read you the form; Translate, either verbally or in writing, information from your native language to English or English to your native language; and Write down information that you provide to complete the form. Anyone is allowed to give you this type of limited help, and may charge for it. This person should only charge you a small fee and should not claim to have special knowledge of immigration law and procedure.
In other words, helping you to complete your K1 visa forms is within our right as a consulting business as long as we aren’t claiming to be legal experts; we also shouldn’t claim to be a sort of “replacement” for hiring a professional attorney, which we most surely do not claim.
Here’s a specific example of our role:
In the case that you’ve skipped an information field on one of your visa related forms, or put the wrong answer in a certain field, we will simply let you know. In addition, we may ask you factual questions about yourself as per the form fields, in order to properly confirm the required answer for that field. At no time do we help you with complex legal strategies (etc) as mentioned in the section above.
Laws regarding so-called Legal Document Assistants or Legal Document Preparation are evolving rapidly in recent years, and are mostly defined on the state government level in the United States. For this reason, many legal areas dealing with this subject still remain unclear, which is why we make every effort to be as transparent as possible about our website and services.
According to Nevada state case law,
The practice of law by others than members of the State Bar of Nevada is forbidden by statute. NRS 7.600. The reason is not the protection of the lawyer against lay competition but the protection of the public… The need for legal counselling in any transaction is a question which must be decided by the person whose legal rights are involved. If, in his judgment, he does not need advice as to his legal rights or assistance with respect to them, no one can complain of his self-reliance. Such a case must be a true case of self-reliance, however. If reliance be placed upon the judgment of others as to his legal rights, the case is different.