Checklist: Contracts

Checklist: Contract Requirements for Immigrant Service Providers (NY GBL 460-b)

Download a printable Checklist HERE.

  • An executed contract in the language understood by the customer and in English, a copy of which was given to the customer.
  • An attached certification of accuracy signed by the interpreter of the contract, if used.
  • The customer was given a copy;
  • (If applicable): a signed acknowledgment by the customer of work needing to be done immediately, meaning that they won’t be entitled to a full refund if they choose to cancel their contract, even within the first three days.
  • There is a separate page at the end titled “Cancellation Form” which includes:
    • A statement that the customer is canceling the contract, with contract date, between themselves and the name, address, and phone number of provider.
    • A signature and date line for the customer.
    • Information on the surety, including a statement that a surety is in place for the protection of the customer, and with the name, address, and phone number of the person holding the surety.

The following information must be included in the contract in 12-point font:

  • The name/address/number of provider
  • Itemization and costs for all services
  • A statement that original documents cannot be retained by the ISP
  • A statement that a copy of each filing will be given to client
  • A statement that the customer can obtain the documents on their own and need not hire an ISP

The following statements must be included in the contract in 12-point font:

  • “You have three (3) business days to cancel this contract. Notice of cancellation must be in writing, signed by you and mailed by registered or certified United States mail to (specify address). If you cancel this contract within three days you will get back your documents and any fees that you paid.”
  • A statement that the ISP has financial surety in effect together with the name, address, telephone number of the surety;
  • “The individual providing assistance to you under this contract is not an attorney licensed to practice law or accredited by the board of immigration appeals to provide representation to you before the United States citizenship and immigration services, the department of homeland security, the executive office for immigration review, the department of labor, the department of state or any immigration authorities and may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice. For a free legal referral call the New York State New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636, the New York state office of the attorney general at (phone number of the office of the attorney general), or your local district attorney or prosecutor.”
  • “The individual providing assistance to you under   this contract is prohibited from disclosing any information about you to, or filing any forms or documents on your behalf with, immigration or other authorities without your knowledge and consent except as required by law.”
  • “A copy of all forms completed and documents accompanying the forms shall be kept by the service provider for three years. A copy of the customer’s file shall be provided to the client on demand and without a fee.”

Additional considerations regarding the contract:

  • The contract must be cancelable within three days for a full refund unless immediate action is necessary on the case, in which case the customer must sign a waiver of the three-day cancellation rule.
  • The contract must be cancelable at any time, except that after three days (or less if a waiver was signed) the ISP can retain fees for services actually rendered. Fees not used must be refunded within 15 days.
  • Written notification must be given when anything is filed with immigration authorities or information is disclosed because required by law and done without the customer’s knowledge and consent.