7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill modifies the Immigration Consultants Registration Act.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ amends the definition provision;
13 ▸ clarifies the act's application to individuals as immigration consultants;
14 ▸ clarifies exemptions from the act;
15 ▸ modifies bonding requirements;
16 ▸ addresses when a written contract may be cancelled by a client;
17 ▸ modifies exemptions from contract requirements;
18 ▸ modifies disclosure requirements, including what notices are to be displayed and
19 what disclosures are to be provided in writing;
20 ▸ repeals language for providing information to law enforcement with consent of
22 ▸ provides for investigatory powers in the division; and
23 ▸ makes technical changes.
24 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
26 Other Special Clauses:
28 Utah Code Sections Affected:
30 13-49-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 124
31 13-49-201, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 375
32 13-49-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 124
33 13-49-204, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapters 124 and 278
34 13-49-301, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 375
35 13-49-303, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 375
36 13-49-304, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 375
37 13-49-305, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 375
38 13-49-402, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 124
40 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
41 Section 1. Section 13-49-102 is amended to read:
42 13-49-102. Definitions.
43 As used in this chapter:
44 (1) "Client" means a person who receives services from or enters into an agreement to
45 receive services from an immigration consultant.
46 (2) "Compensation" means anything of economic value that is paid, loaned, granted,
47 given, donated, or transferred to a person for or in consideration of:
48 (a) services;
49 (b) personal or real property; or
50 (c) another thing of value.
51 (3) "Department" means the Department of Commerce.
52 (4) "Division" means the Division of Consumer Protection in the department.
53 (5) "Immigration consultant" means [
54 assistance or advice on an immigration matter including:
55 (a) completing a document provided by a federal or state agency, but not advising a
56 person as to the person's answers on the document;
57 (b) translating a person's answer to a question posed in a document provided by a
58 federal or state agency;
59 (c) securing for a person supporting documents, such as a birth certificate, that may be
60 necessary to complete a document provided by a federal or state agency;
61 (d) submitting a completed document on a person's behalf and at the person's request to
62 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; or
63 (e) for valuable consideration, referring a person to a person who could undertake legal
64 representation activities in an immigration matter.
65 (6) "Immigration matter" means a proceeding, filing, or action affecting the
66 immigration or citizenship status of a person that arises under:
67 (a) immigration and naturalization law;
68 (b) executive order or presidential proclamation; or
69 (c) action of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the United States
70 Department of State, or the United States Department of Labor.
71 Section 2. Section 13-49-201 is amended to read:
72 13-49-201. Requirement to be registered as an immigration consultant --
74 (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (1)(b), [
75 engage in an activity of an immigration consultant for compensation unless the [
76 individual is registered under this chapter.
77 (b) [
78 not apply to [
79 (i) to practice law in this state; or
80 (ii) by federal law to represent persons before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the
81 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
82 (2) An immigration consultant may only offer nonlegal assistance or advice in an
83 immigration matter.
84 Section 3. Section 13-49-202 is amended to read:
85 13-49-202. Application for registration.
86 (1) To register as an immigration consultant [
87 (a) submit an annual application in a form prescribed by the division;
88 (b) pay an annual registration fee determined by the department in accordance with
89 Section 63J-1-504, which includes the costs of the criminal background check required under
90 Subsection (1)(e);
91 (c) have good moral character in that the [
93 (i) a felony; or
94 (ii) within the last 10 years, a misdemeanor involving theft, fraud, or dishonesty;
95 (d) submit fingerprint cards in a form acceptable to the division at the time the
96 application is filed; and
97 (e) consent to a fingerprint background check of the individual by the Utah Bureau of
98 Criminal Identification regarding the application.
99 (2) The division shall register [
100 as an immigration consultant.
101 Section 4. Section 13-49-204 is amended to read:
102 13-49-204. Bonds -- Exemption -- Statements dependent on posting bond.
103 (1) [
104 cash bond or surety bond:
105 (a) in the amount of $50,000; and
106 (b) payable to the division for the benefit of any person damaged by a fraud,
107 misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act, omission, or failure to provide services of an
108 immigration consultant, or an agent, representative, or employee of an immigration consultant.
109 (2) A bond required under this section shall be:
110 (a) in a form approved by the [
111 (b) conditioned upon the faithful compliance of an immigration consultant with this
112 chapter and division rules.
113 (3) An immigration consultant shall keep the bond required under this section in force
114 for one year after the immigration consultant's registration expires or the immigration
115 consultant notifies the division in writing that the immigration consultant has ceased all
116 activities regulated under this chapter.
117 (4) (a) If a surety bond posted by an immigration consultant under this section is
118 canceled due to the [
119 $300 reinstatement fee.
120 (b) No part of a bond posted by an immigration consultant under this section may be
122 (i) during the one-year period the registration under this chapter is in effect; or
123 (ii) while a revocation proceeding is pending against the [
125 (5) (a) A bond posted under this section by an immigration consultant may be forfeited
126 if the [
127 (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (5)(a), the division may make a claim against a bond
128 posted by an immigration consultant for money owed the division under this chapter without
129 the division first revoking the immigration consultant's registration.
135 indicating that the [
136 an immigration consultant, or proposes to engage in the business of an immigration consultant,
137 unless the [
138 throughout the period covered by the statement[
140 or written reference to the immigration consultant's compliance with the bonding requirements
141 of this section except as provided in this chapter.
142 Section 5. Section 13-49-301 is amended to read:
143 13-49-301. Requirements for written contract -- Prohibited statements.
144 (1) (a) Before an immigration consultant may provide services to a client, the
145 immigration consultant shall provide the client with a written contract. The contents of the
146 written contract shall comply with this section and rules made by the division in accordance
147 with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
148 (b) A client may [
149 midnight of the third business day after execution of the written contract, excluding weekends
150 and state and federal holidays.
151 (2) A written contract under this section shall be stated in both English and in the
152 client's native language.
153 (3) A written contract under this section shall:
154 (a) state the purpose for which the immigration consultant has been hired;
155 (b) state the one or more services to be performed;
156 (c) state the price for a service to be performed;
157 (d) include a statement printed in 10-point boldface type that the immigration
158 consultant is not an attorney and may not perform the legal services that an attorney performs;
159 (e) with regard to a document to be prepared by the immigration consultant:
160 (i) list the document to be prepared;
161 (ii) explain the purpose of the document;
162 (iii) explain the process to be followed in preparing of the document;
163 (iv) explain the action to be taken by the immigration consultant;
164 (v) state the agency or office where each document will be filed; and
165 (vi) state the approximate processing times according to current published agency
167 (f) include a provision stating that the person may report complaints relating to an
168 immigration consultant to the:
169 (i) division, including a toll-free telephone number and Internet web site; and
170 (ii) Office of Immigrant Assistance of the United States Department of Justice,
171 including a toll-free telephone number and Internet [
172 (g) include a provision stating that complaints concerning the unauthorized practice of
173 law may be reported to the Utah State Bar, including a toll-free telephone number and Internet
175 (h) in accordance with Subsection (1)(b), include a provision stating [
176 bold on the first page of the written contract in both English and in the client's native language
177 in accordance with Subsection (2): "You may [
179 of the written contract."
180 (4) A written contract may not contain a provision relating to the following:
181 (a) a guarantee or promise, unless the immigration consultant has some basis in fact for
182 making the guarantee or promise; or
183 (b) a statement that the immigration consultant can or will obtain a special favor from
184 or has special influence with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or any
185 other governmental agency, employee, or official, that may have a bearing on a client's
186 immigration matter.
187 (5) An immigration consultant may not make a statement described in Subsection (4)
188 orally to a client.
189 (6) A written contract is void if not written in accordance with this section.
194 Section 6. Section 13-49-303 is amended to read:
195 13-49-303. Notice to be displayed -- Disclosure to be provided in writing.
196 (1) An immigration consultant shall conspicuously display in the immigration
197 consultant's office a notice that shall be at least 12 by 20 inches with boldface type or print with
198 each character at least one inch in height and width in English and in the native language of the
199 immigration consultant's clientele, that contains the following information:
200 (a) the full name, address, and evidence of compliance with any applicable bonding
201 requirement including the bond number[
202 (b) a statement that the immigration consultant is not an attorney; and
206 (2) (a) Before providing any services, an immigration consultant shall provide a client
207 with a written disclosure in the native language of the client that includes the following:
213 the bond number[
214 (iv) a list of the services that the immigration consultant provides and the current and
215 total fee for each service.
216 (b) An immigration consultant shall obtain the signature of the client verifying that the
217 client received the written disclosures described in Subsection (2)(a) before a service is
219 (3) (a) Except as provided in Subsections (3)(b) and (3)(c), an immigration consultant
220 who prints, displays, publishes, distributes, or broadcasts, or who causes to be printed,
221 displayed, published, distributed, or broadcasted, any advertisement for services as an
222 immigration consultant, shall include in that advertisement a clear and conspicuous statement
223 that the immigration consultant is not an attorney.
224 (b) Subsection (3)(a) does not apply to an immigration consultant who is not licensed
225 as an attorney in any state or territory of the United States, but is authorized by federal law to
226 represent persons before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship
227 and Immigration Services. A person described in this Subsection (3)(b) shall include in an
228 advertisement for services as an immigration consultant a clear and conspicuous statement that
229 the immigration consultant is not an attorney, but is authorized by federal law to represent
230 persons before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and
231 Immigration Services.
232 (c) Subsection (3)(a) does not apply to a person who is not an active member of the
233 Utah State Bar, but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and
234 is admitted to practice before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States
235 Citizenship and Immigration Services. A person described in this Subsection (3)(c) shall
236 include in any advertisement for immigration services a clear and conspicuous statement that
237 the person is not an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, but is an attorney licensed in
238 another state or territory of the United States, and is authorized by federal law to represent
239 persons before the Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and
240 Immigration Services.
241 (4) If an advertisement subject to this section is in a language other than English, the
242 statement required by Subsection (3) shall be in the same language as the advertisement.
243 Section 7. Section 13-49-304 is amended to read:
244 13-49-304. Translations -- Prohibited acts.
245 (1) For purposes of this section, "literal translation" of a word or phrase from one
246 language means the translation of a word or phrase without regard to the true meaning of the
247 word or phrase in the language that is being translated.
248 (2) An immigration consultant may not, with the intent to mislead, literally translate,
249 from English into another language, words or titles, including, "notary public," "notary,"
250 "licensed," "attorney," "lawyer," or any other terms that imply that the [
251 consultant is an attorney, in any document, including an advertisement, stationery, letterhead,
252 business card, or other comparable written material describing the immigration consultant.
253 Section 8. Section 13-49-305 is amended to read:
254 13-49-305. Documents -- Treatment of original documents.
255 (1) An immigration consultant shall deliver to a client a copy of a document completed
256 on behalf of the client. An immigration consultant shall include on a document delivered to a
257 client the name and address of the immigration consultant.
258 (2) [
259 less than three years from the date of the last service to the client.
263 (3) (a) An immigration consultant shall return to a client all original documents that the
264 client has provided to the immigration consultant in support of the client's application including
265 an original birth certificate, rental agreement, utility bill, employment document, a registration
266 document issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, or a passport.
267 (b) An original document that does not need to be submitted to immigration authorities
268 as an original document shall be returned by the immigration consultant immediately after
269 making a copy.
270 Section 9. Section 13-49-402 is amended to read:
271 13-49-402. Violations -- Actions by division.
274 (1) The division may make an investigation the division considers necessary to
275 determine whether a person is violating, has violated, or is about to violate this chapter or any
276 rule made or order issued under this chapter. As part of the investigation, the division may:
277 (a) require a person to file a statement in writing;
278 (b) administer oaths, subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, take evidence,
279 and examine under oath any person in connection with an investigation; and
280 (c) require the production of any books, papers, documents, merchandise, or other
281 material relevant to the investigation.
282 (2) A person who violates this chapter is subject to:
283 (a) a cease and desist order; and
284 (b) an administrative fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each separate
286 (3) An administrative fine shall be deposited in the Consumer Protection Education
287 and Training Fund created in Section 13-2-8.
288 (4) (a) A person who intentionally violates this chapter:
289 (i) is guilty of a class A misdemeanor; and
290 (ii) may be fined up to $10,000.
291 (b) A person intentionally violates this part if the violation occurs after the division,
292 attorney general, or a district or county attorney notifies the person by certified mail that the
293 person is in violation of this chapter.
Legislative Review Note
as of 2-12-15 3:26 PM
Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel