How to Become an Immigration Consultant in California

Dr Gregory Finkelson

March 30, 2023

Immigration Consultant

To become an immigration consultant in California, you must meet a number of qualifications and be registered with the state. In addition, you must post a surety bond to protect the state and the public from any misconduct on your part.

You can find out more about specific requirements, qualifications, permitted services and prohibited conduct from the California Secretary of State.


As an immigration consultant, you provide non-legal assistance to people seeking visas or citizenship in the United States. You help them fill out and submit the forms required by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), provide copies of needed documents and make referrals to legal representation if necessary.

Unlike notaries public, paralegals and accredited representatives, immigration consultants are not lawyers and must file a bond with the California Secretary of State to work in the state. However, they are allowed to charge fees for helping clients complete their immigration forms.

To protect immigrants, California law requires that immigration consultants display visible signs in their offices stating their name, bond number, services provided and a list of fees. They must also provide a written contract and give clients a receipt with their payment information.


As a prospective immigration consultant in California, you must register with the state. This involves filing the correct paperwork, submitting a background check and posting a surety bond. You can do this online or by submitting a paper copy to the state’s office.

In addition, you must submit fingerprints to a Live Scan facility and have a 2” x 2” color passport photo taken. The process can take several weeks to complete.

You must also return any original documents that you receive from clients in support of their application. These include birth certificates, utility bills, employment stubs and other documents.

Once you have passed the required qualifications, you can begin practicing as an immigration consultant. The income of this career can range from $50,000 on the lower end to $250,000 or more for a skilled practitioner.

Surety bond

As part of the licensing process to become an immigration consultant, you’ll need to obtain a surety bond. The requirements vary by state, but every one takes the bond requirement seriously and won’t license someone who doesn’t have one in place.

A surety bond is a two-party contract that guarantees the government or public that you’ll follow specific regulations. This can include keeping your work clean and safe, paying your employees on time and more.

In the event that your business fails to live up to these standards, the state may file a claim against your bond. This is why you’ll want to avoid any behavior that could trigger claims and make sure to pay all damages and fees immediately when they arise. This can help you avoid having to pay a surety claim in the first place. It’s also important to ensure that you reimburse the surety for any money paid on a claim that wasn’t valid.


Immigration consultants provide non-legal assistance to people with immigration paperwork. They must comply with state registration requirements, including filing a disclosure form and bond.

However, they may not charge a fee for their services. Instead, they must refer clients to other people or organizations that provide immigration services.

If you want to become an immigration consultant in california, it’s important to stay educated on the law and processes. You can gain this knowledge through training courses and by pursuing a degree in immigration law or public policy.

You can also ask others who have used the services of an immigration consultant for advice. Make sure you get a written contract that includes the terms of service and how much it will cost.

To help protect your clients and yourself, you should obtain a California immigration consultant bond. This bond ensures that you will conduct your business according to the law and protects people from financial damages if you violate the laws. The amount of the bond is determined by your personal and business finances, as well as fixed or liquid assets.