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Do you have to be a lawyer to assist someone with 1 - 601a or I - 130 Forms ?

Anaheim, CA |

On the bottom of the forms listed above it says name of the person preparing the petition if other than the petitioner? Can any 1 do this or is there a licensing requirement like a document preparer?

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Attorney answers 5


There is no requirement but I would NEVER suggest one attempt to prepare and submit an I601 without the help of an attorney.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


There is no such requirement. It would, however be foolish to submit an I-602 Waiver without the assistance of a lawyer. Getting such a waiver approved is no simple task and there is simply no way one can use "self-help" and be capable of preparing an "approvable" waiver package on his/her own.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


You don't have to be a lawyer to prepare these documents, but having a non-lawyer help you do so can be dangerous.

There is no accountability or ethical obligation and often no assurance the work is even being done- let alone being done correctly. These waivers are difficult, so the assistance you seek should be from a trusted professional.

Also, there are many scams involving non-lawyers providing "legal assistance" for excessive fees and with horrible results, check out the USCIS website for more information about scams.

Any and all responses to this and any other questions are intended for basic informational purposes only and are not legal advice.


There is no "licensing requirement", but you should consult with and hire an attorney to assist you with the I-601a waiver, which can be complicated.

Christy Han Mohan, A Law Corporation
Immigration Attorney
19800 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 1000, Irvine, CA 92612
Phone: 949.222.5900 | Fax: 888.488.6431

This is not legal advice, no guarantees/warranties have been made, and no attorney/client relationship has been formed.


The easiest way to explain the UPL issue is to say that anything more than acting as a typist writing in whatever the person states can be considered unauthorized practice of law. We get over 1/3 of UPL claims from individuals who were not BIA approved repesentatives or attorneys assisting aliens. UPL can result in criminal and or civil sanctions and now USCIS is assisting state ulp committees to go after those who commit UPL.

Legal disclaimer: The statement above is provided by CC Abbott is based on general assistance and not intended to be a legal opinion because not all the facts are provided. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney who is permitted by the state bar within the jurisdiction who can examine the complete facts and provide a legal opinion on your case. All information provided in the above answer and other information provided by CC Abbott does not create an attorney/client relationship within any state of Federal law.

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