The question may arise, “Should I Use a Lawyer or Immigration Consultant?” The immigration process is a very complex one and there are many various types of visas available. Each category of visa requires the applicant to meet specific requirements and has a procedure in place. Because of the many complications possible, it is often a good idea for those seeking a visa to get help from a lawyer or immigration consultant. An immigration lawyer is specially trained and knows the rules and laws governing immigration issues.

Immigration Consultant

An immigration consultant provides help with immigration matters. Their main function is to answer general questions and help with tasks, such as printing and filling out forms and gathering information. It is important to keep in mind that an immigration consultant is not allowed to provide legal advice. Therefore, if you have questions or concerns, they should be directed specifically to an immigration attorney.

Court Proceedings

When your immigration issues must be handled in court, only an immigration attorney will be legally able to represent you. An immigration consultant, while knowledgeable regarding general immigration issues, is not able to appear in court. In the United States, there is no certification process in place for immigration consultants. Therefore, only a qualified immigration attorney will be able to properly assist you with a hearing or court situation.

Notarios Are Not Lawyers

Notarios, also called notary publics, are not the same as immigration consultants or attorneys. In the United States, notary publics are not legally qualified to assist with immigration matters. Do not seek guidance regarding important immigration matters from notaries. Notaries are not governed by the legal community and therefore they may or may not have the expertise to help in matters of immigration. It is generally advisable to avoid paying for immigration advice from anyone other than a competent lawyer.

How an Immigration Attorney Will Help

An immigration attorney performs more tasks and provides much more assistance than a consultant does. Your lawyer will ensure that the entire visa application and approval process is properly followed from start to finish. He makes certain that you are taking advantage of the laws as they pertain to your situation. Because immigration rules are complicated and laws may change, only an attorney is adequately able to provide you with the latest legal advice needed. While an attorney will likely be more expensive than a consultant, only with an attorney will you be assured of receiving correct legal expertise.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Should I Use a Lawyer or Immigration Consultant, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.