2015 New York Laws
GBS - General Business
Article 28-C - (General Business) IMMIGRANT ASSISTANCE SERVICES
460-D - Prohibited acts.
460-d. Prohibited acts. No provider shall:
1. Give legal advice, or otherwise engage in the practice of law.
2. Assume, use or advertise the title of lawyer or attorney at law, or equivalent terms in the English language or any other language, or represent or advertise other titles or credentials, including but not limited to "notary public", "accredited representative of the board of immigration appeals," "notario public", "notario", "immigration specialist" or "immigration consultant," that could cause a customer to believe that the person possesses special professional skills or is authorized to provide advice on an immigration matter; provided that a notary public licensed by the secretary of state may use the term "notary public."
3. State or imply that the provider can or will obtain special favors from or has special influence with the United States citizenship and immigration services, the United States department of Homeland Security, the executive office for Immigration review or any other governmental entity.
4. Threaten to report the customer to immigration or other authorities or threaten to undermine in any way the customer's immigration status or attempt to secure lawful status.
5. Demand or retain any fees or compensation for services not performed, services to be performed in the future, or costs that are not actually incurred.
6. Advise, direct or permit a customer to answer questions on a government document, or in a discussion with a government official, in a specific way where the provider knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the answers are false or misleading.
7. Disclose any information to, or file any forms or documents with, immigration or other authorities on behalf of a customer without the knowledge or consent of the customer except where required by law. A provider shall promptly notify the customer in writing when such provider has disclosed any information to or filed any form or document with immigration or other authorities when such disclosure or filing was required by law and done without the knowledge and consent of the customer.
8. Fail to provide customers with copies of documents filed with a governmental entity or refuse to return original documents supplied by, prepared on behalf of, or paid for by the customer, upon the request of the customer, or upon termination of the contract. Original documents must be returned promptly upon request and upon cancellation of the contract, even if there is a fee dispute between the immigration assistance service provider and the customer.
9. Make any misrepresentation or false statement, directly or indirectly.
10. Make any guarantee or promise to a customer, unless there is a basis in fact for such representation, and the guarantee or promise is in writing.
11. Represent that a fee may be charged, or charge a fee for the distribution, provision or submission of an official document or form issued or promulgated by a state or federal governmental entity, or for a referral of the customer to another person or entity that is qualified to provide services or assistance which the immigrant assistance service provider will not provide.
12. For a fee or other compensation refer a customer to an attorney or any other individual or entity that can provide services that the immigrant assistance service provider cannot provide.
13. Give advice on the determination of a person's immigration status, including advising him or her as to answers on a government form regarding such determination.
14. Promise to expedite immigration or other immigration related governmental benefit processes, through claims to have special relationships with or special access to government employees who will expedite applications or issue favorable decisions for any reason other than the merits of the application.
15. Knowingly provide misleading or false information to a noncitizen about his or her individual or family's eligibility for immigration benefits or status, or to noncitizens or citizens about their individual or family's eligibility for other government benefits, with the intent to induce an individual to employ the services of the service provider to obtain such immigration benefits or status, or such other government benefits.
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