If you want to help immigrants navigate the complex process of coming to the United States, becoming a bonded immigration consultant is a great option. But in California, there are specific requirements that you must meet to become an immigration consultant. The good news is that registering as an immigration consultant is relatively simple and can be completed in 5 easy steps, one of which is to obtain your California Immigration Consultant Bond. Read on to learn more about the immigration consultant qualification requirements and the steps you’ll need to take to become a bonded immigration consultant in California.
An immigration consultant helps immigrants with the process of emigrating from another country to the United States; This can include helping to fill out paperwork, preparing for interviews, and providing resources and information about the immigration process. An immigration consultant may also perform other services, such as helping immigrants find housing or jobs once they arrive in the United States. However, immigration consultants cannot give out legal advice.
In California, you do not need to be a lawyer or have a special license to become an immigration consultant. Although, you do have to register with the state and obtain a surety bond. As mentioned before, immigration consultants can only give non-legal help. It’s not uncommon for an immigration consultant to translate answers to questions on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms or to obtain copies of supporting documents. If asked, immigration consultants can also submit the forms to the USCIS.
There are several steps to becoming an immigration consultant in California. We’ll cover those next, but the most important thing to know is that the state requires immigration consultants to be bonded in order to operate.
We mentioned earlier that there are only five steps to take to become a bonded immigration consultant in California. Those five steps are as follows:
Part of the application process to register as an immigration consultant is to satisfactorily pass a background check conducted by the California Secretary of State. To submit to a background check, you must have your fingerprints taken at a Live Scan location within the state.
Next, you’ll need to get a surety bond for the correct bond amount. Bonding is often a source of confusion, so we cover this step in more detail below.
You can fill out the form online, but you will need to print it out and submit a physical copy along with the other required paperwork.
To register as an immigration consultant in California, you’ll need to submit a 2″ x 2″ passport photo with your other paperwork.
The last step to becoming an immigration consultant in California is to submit all the required documents to the state. Be sure to include:
-Identification card/driver’s license issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
-A passport issued by the Department of State of the United States.
-An identification card issued by a state other than California.
-A driver’s license issued by a state other than California.
In very general terms, a surety bond is a three-party contract designed to protect individuals from harm due to the actions or negligence of another party. The Immigration Consultant Surety Bond is a specific bond required by the State of California. Anyone acting within the capacity of an immigration consultant (that is not an attorney), or engaging in the business of immigration consulting, must have an Immigration Consultant Bond.
There are three parties involved in this surety bond:
The California Immigration Consultant Bond is not the same as liability insurance. Though the two may seem similar, instead of protecting the consultant (you) like an insurance policy does, this bond protects an individual or group of individuals from loss caused by the actions of an immigration consultant. The bond ensures that California immigration consultants follow the provisions of the California Business and Professions Code.
The Immigration Consultant Bond does this by providing people who utilize the services of immigrant consultants a way to recuperate financial losses or damages that are directly related to the services of that consultant. For example, if an immigration consultant made false statements to a client that injured the client, the bond could provide that client a means to recover financial damages. An Immigration Consultant Surety Bond may also cover losses caused by a consultant’s theft, fraud, or misrepresentation.
If any such loss occurs, the injured party can file a claim against the bond. If the surety company finds the claim valid, the surety would then compensate the injured party up to the bond amount of $100,000. As the principal on the bond, the immigration consultant would be financially responsible for reimbursing the surety company for the claim, plus any applicable fees and legal costs.
The cost of an Immigration Consultant Bond in California depends on several factors, primarily your credit score. The surety will require a soft credit check, which will not harm your credit, to quote your bond.
The bond premium (what you pay) is a percentage of the total bond amount and is generally between 1% and 15% (but it can go higher). With strong credentials and optimal credit, it’s possible your bond premium could start as low as 1% to 1.5% of the bond amount. Even if you have nonstandard credit, we encourage you to apply for your bond anyway. Applying for a quote is free, and at South Coast Surety, we work with multiple sureties to try and find you the best quote available.
Ready to get your California Immigration Consultant Bond? Apply on our website for your free quote today! Or if you have any questions, please call us at 949-361-1692 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have processed 2 defective title bonds through South Coast Surety and I am the type that gets worried for any little detail and want to make sure everything is done correctly the first time to prevent double work for myself and everybody. Knowing how I am both times I had to call customer service and they answered every little question I had in a very nice and gratifying way that made me feel I would not have any problems in which I did not. South Coast Surety has the ultimate best customer service.
Gaby - CA
I was shopping for a surety bond for the first time and having trouble communicating with several different companies. When I contacted South Coast Surety they responded quickly and performed the transaction quick and easy. I might have been able to find a lower price, but their professionalism was worth a couple extra dollars.
KG C. - CA
We are opening up a Mental Health Residential Treatment Center and needed a Surety bond since we will be handling some clients cash resources. I reached out to South Coast Surety, they sent me an application, paid our premium and had our bond sent to us immediately. Everyone I spoke to and emailed was courteous, attentive and responded very quickly. We will most definitely continue to get all of our bond services from South Coast.
John F. - CA
Great customer service from South Coast Surety. When I had questions about the bond and process, their customer service team assisted me with a sense of urgency and answered my questions. I recommend using their services. I will be a returning customer.
P&C B. - CA
I needed a surety bond and was referred by another company to south coast. I am very impressed with the level of customer service in every stage of issuing the bond, the rapid response to the get the bond issued and communication with the team. Great team and awesome service. I highly recommend South Coast Surety for you bond needs.
Mirwais A. - CA
I was in need of obtaining my CA Insurance Bond. I was able to obtain my required Bond quote online within minutes. I approved the quote and requested the Bond to be issued. On the same day, I received the Evidence of Coverage. Could not ask for better pricing or better service. I highly recommend South Coast Surety to meet a wide range of Bonding needs.
Udo G. - NJ
South Coast Surety has been proudly providing surety support to all fifty U.S. states for twenty years. Starting out as a small agency with a dream in San Clemente, California, we have steadily grown into one of the largest bond-only agencies in the nation. We write all commercial bonds and contract bonds for every American business and industry. Our greatest achievement is helping our clients grow their business alongside our own through coaching and obtaining larger bonding limits at the best rates. We work hard for our clients and take pride in bonding businesses that have been declined by our competitors.