If you offer immigration consultancy services in California, your license compliance just got more expensive! Applications submitted after May 30th, 2014 and existing consultants must now provide a California immigration consultant surety bond in the amount of $100,000, double the previous secretary of state requirements. The SoS's website advises, "Beginning July 1, 2014, the immigration consultant surety bond required to be filed with the Secretary of State's office will be $100,000. All other requirements to become an immigration consultant remain the same. Pursuant to the new provisions of California Business and Professions Code section 22443.1 effective July 1, 2014, only people who have complied with the new law will be listed on the Secretary of State's website as being active immigration consultants. Other people will not be listed as being active, even if they were previously authorized to engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant prior to July 1, 2014. A renewal or continuation of an immigration consultant bond must be filed with the Secretary prior to the expiration of the (current) surety bond. If the renewal or continuation is not filed with the Secretary of State prior to the expiration of the surety bond, the person covered by the bond may not engage in the business or act in the capacity of an immigration consultant until he or she again has complied with all of the qualification requirements, including the submission of a new surety bond, disclosure statement, and the passing of a background check. Surety bond continuation certificates or similar documents purporting to renew surety bonds that are received after the expiration of the applicable surety bond will be returned unfiled."
The bond required under California Code shall be in favor of, and payable to, the people of the State of California and shall be for the benefit of any person damaged by any fraud, misstatement, misrepresentation, unlawful act or omission, or failure to provide the services of the immigration consultant or the agents, representatives, or employees of the immigration consultant, while acting within the scope of that employment or agency. The California immigration consultant bond required by this section is cancelable. It may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure. The obligation is NOT cumulative pursuant to provision three of the same. Application materials, information and the bond form may be obtained from the SoS's website. Applications for licensing should be submitted to:
Secretary of State Special Filings Unit
Immigration Consultant Surety Bond
P.O. Box 942877
Sacramento, CA 94277-0001
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