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Immigration Consultant Bond

An immigration consultant is someone who helps an immigrant or their family navigate through the often confusing and complicated process of securing legal status in the US. These consultants have an important and sensitive job, which is why most are required to obtain an immigration consultant surety bond before they're allowed to serve.

What is an Immigration Consultant Bond?

Immigration consultant bonds are a type of permit & license surety bond. Some state and local governments require immigration consultants to secure a surety bond in order to gain licensure. The bond guarantees payment if an immigration consultant performs their duties in a manner that violates applicable laws and regulations.

Surety bonds provide an additional incentive for licensed immigration consultants to follow laws and regulations to the best of their abilities. The immigration consultant bond protects customers in the event of fraud, or other misconduct on behalf of an immigration consultant.

How does an Immigration Consultant Bond work?

In the event that an immigration consultant breaks the law and thus harms their customer, the customer can make a claim against the bond seeking financial compensation equal to the damages they incurred. The surety company that issues the bond agrees to settle all valid claims in the event that the bonded immigration consultant cannot or will not pay. In this way, bonds work as a kind of financial guarantee for people who have been wronged by their immigration consultant. Immigration consultant surety bonds also hold the consultant accountable because that person must pay for any claims even if the surety steps in to pay initially. Bonds are not insurance. They work more like a line of credit - funds paid out of the bond must always be paid back, potentially with interest and fees added.

Who should get an Immigration Consultant Bond?

Immigration consultant bonds are a requirement as part of the registration process to become a certified immigration consultant. Each state determines at which point in the process obtaining an immigration consultant surety bond is a requirement. Renewal requirements for immigration bonds vary by state as well, with many states requiring annual or bi-annual renewals. If you intend to work as an immigration consultant, expect to need a surety bond, and plan to obtain one as soon as possible. Every state takes the surety bond requirement seriously and will not license a consultant who does not have a immigration surety bond. It's illegal to work as an immigration consultant without a license and subject to strict penalties, so it's imperative to get a immigration consultant bond ASAP to complete the license requirements. Speed up the search and selection process by working with a national surety agency like Viking Bond Service.

Immigration Consultant Qualification Requirements

Every state has different requirements to become an immigration consultant. Some states set higher standards than others. In most cases, however, you only need to clear various administrative hurdles - complete forms, file paperwork etc - to become an immigration consultant in good standing with the state where you intend to operate. One requirement that several states share is the need for an immigration consultant surety bond. Many professionals need surety bonds as a condition to do business legally, especially in sensitive industries that affect the public good. You will need to show proof of having a surety bond for an immigration consultant that meets all the state's requirements before being recognized as an immigration consultant. Failure to secure a bond or meet other requirements makes it illegal to do business and assigns heavy penalties to anyone who does.

Who are the parties involved in an Immigration Consultant Bond?

Immigration consultant bonds involve three parties.

  • The principal is the immigration consultant/consultancy who purchases the bond to certify that they will follow regulations. As the principal, the consultant must also pay for any claims filed against the bond.
  • The obligee is the beneficiary party who requires the immigration consultant bond be in place, in this case the state authority on behalf of the public. The obligee also has the right to file claims against the bond seeking compensation.
  • The surety underwrites and issues the bond.The surety backs the bond, meaning they guarantee payment for all valid claims. However, whenever the surety settles a claim it has the right to collect the same amount (plus interest and incurred costs) from the principal.

How much does an Immigration Consultant Bond cost?

The cost of an immigration consultant bond varies by state. For example, immigration consultants in California require higher bond amounts than those in Georgia, or New York. Here are some sample bond requirements for several states:

  • CA - $100,000 bond required by the California Secretary of State.
  • GA - $5,000 bond required by the Georgia Secretary of State.
  • NY - $50,000 bond required by New York City.
  • UT - $50,000 bond required by the Utah Division of Consumer Protection.

Contact your state authority to find out the immigration bond requirements in your state.

Immigration consultant bond premiums typically range between 1% and 2.5% of the total bond amount. However, because of varying immigration consultant bond requirements, there can be a large difference in cost depending on the state issuing the bond. For example, based on a 1% to 2.5% figure, an immigration consultant in California may be required to pay a premium between $1,000 and $2,500. Meanwhile an immigration consultant in Georgia, paying the same percentage for their premium, may only need to pay around $100 for their immigration consultant surety bond. Clients with bad credit can still usually get immigration consultant bonds, though the premium will be higher, in the range of 5% to 10% of the bond amount. If you have a credit score that falls below 700 or a blemish like a bankruptcy on your financial record, take advantage of a special program from Viking Bond Service. We created this program to help people with credit issues get the bonds they need at a price they can afford - just one example of how Viking Bond Service goes above and beyond for bond holders.

Can I get an Immigration Consultant Bond with bad credit?

The answer varies depending on the surety company you work with. Some are very risk-averse and deny applications from anyone with a credit score below a certain limit, or anyone with a bankruptcy in their past. Others, though, are more willing to find solutions for clients with bad credit. This usually means higher premiums, but not substantially more. More importantly, these clients have a way to get the surety bond they need to secure a license and work legally. Partnering with a surety agency makes it much faster and simpler to find a surety willing to work with all applicants.

How do I renew my Immigration Consultant Bond?

When the bond expires - usually after 12 months or 24 months - you will submit a new bond application. Underwriters will then reevaluate your credit and quote you a new premium based on whether your credit score went up, down, or stayed unchanged over the previous year. The bond renews for another year as soon as you pay that new premium. One way to manage bond prices is to steadily improve credit standing while also taking care to avoid claims.

How are claims handled for Immigration Consultant Bond?

The surety launches an investigation to determine whether the details outlined in the claim have merit. If so, the surety pays the obligee in full and then proceeds to collect that same amount from the principal (the bonded immigration consultant). It's always in the principal's interest to avoid claims or to pay them immediately before the surety has to investigate.

What are the steps involved to get an Immigration Consultant Bond?

Applying for the bond is very simple. A general commercial surety bond application is required along with a credit check. If any additional information is required, it will be requested. Once approved, simply paying the bond premium will secure your surety bond. The surety will then supply documentation proving to the state that someone has met the immigration surety bond requirement. State laws require someone to keep an active bond in good standing for as long as they offer immigration consultant services. That requires two things. First, keeping the bond renewed. If it lapses, any services performed past that point are considered illegal. Second, keep an immigration consultant surety bond in good standing by avoiding any behavior that could trigger claims.

Viking Bond Service - Serving Immigration Consultants

Immigration consultant bonds are usually simple to process. You will usually receive a surety bond quote within 24 hours of returning the completed bond application. Viking Bond Service writes immigration bonds all over the country. Contact us today and we'll help you get the bonding process moving forward right away. Call us at 1-888-278-7389 or fill out the contact form on this page. You also have the option to fill out an online bond application at any time. For all things related to immigration consultant bonds, rely on Viking Bond Service.

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