If you are an immigrant living in Riverside County or Orange County, you may be eager to complete the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. For many people, this is possible when done through the proper channels. However, there are those out there looking to take advantage of unsuspecting people. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, here are some of the common scams that you should keep any eye out for when applying for citizenship.
There is a lot of information available online about the naturalization process, not only through the USCIS website but on other government websites as well. People may try to capitalize on that fact by setting up fake websites that appear to be legitimate. Those sites may offer assistance or access to forms for a fee. You should never have to pay for forms that will be submitted to the USCIS and websites that are actually part of the government will always end in .gov.
In addition, you should always check the credentials of anyone that you hire to represent you with legal services in connection with applying for citizenship. In America, notary publics are individuals who are able to administer oaths and witness the signing of documents. However, in many Spanish-speaking countries, notarios públicos are specialized legal professionals. If someone in the U.S. calls themselves a notary public and represents that they can assist you with immigration issues, they may be trying to take advantage of you.
Finally, if you are offered a job in the U.S. or the opportunity to enter the country to attend school, always make sure that such offers are legitimate. A real job offer should not require you to pay anything and you will need the proper paperwork in place before you are able to work. Any school you attend should be certified and be able to provide you with a certificate of eligibility. This should not be considered legal advice and is general information on this topic only.