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This entry was published on 2015-02-06
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Immigrant assistance service contracts
General Business (GBS) CHAPTER 20, ARTICLE 28-C
§ 460-b. Immigrant assistance service contracts. 1. No immigrant
assistance service shall be provided until the customer has executed a
written contract with the immigrant assistant service provider. The
contract shall be in a language understood by the customer, either alone
or with the assistance of an available interpreter, and, if that
language is not English, an English language version of the contract
must also be provided. A copy of the contract shall be provided to the
customer upon the customer's execution of the contract. The interpreter
shall provide an attestation affirming the accuracy of his or her
translation, to be attached to the contract.

2. (a) The customer has the right to cancel the contract within three
business days after his or her execution of the contract, without fee or
penalty. The right to cancel the contract within three days without
payment of any fee may be waived when services must be provided
immediately to avoid a forfeiture of eligibility or other loss of rights
or privileges, and the customer furnishes the provider with a separate
dated and signed statement, by the customer or his or her
representative, describing the need for services to be provided within
three days and expressly acknowledging and waiving the right to cancel
the contract within three days.

(b) The contract may be cancelled at any time after execution. If the
contract is cancelled more than three days after it was signed, or
within three days after it was signed if the right to cancel without fee
has been waived, the provider may retain fees for services rendered, and
any additional amounts actually expended on behalf of the customer. All
other amounts must be returned to the customer within fifteen days after

3. The written contract shall be in plain language, in at least twelve
point type and shall include the following:

(a) The name, address and telephone number of the provider.

(b) Itemization of all services to be provided to the customer, as
well as the fees and costs to be charged to the customer for each

(c) A statement that original documents required to be submitted in
connection with an application made to the United States citizenship and
immigration services or for other certifications, benefits or services
provided by government may not be retained by the immigrant assistance
service provider for any reason, including failure of the customer to
pay fees or costs or other fee dispute.

(d) A statement that the provider shall give the customer a copy of
each document prepared with the provider's assistance.

(e) A statement that the customer is not required to obtain supporting
documents through the immigrant assistance service provider, and may
obtain such documents himself or herself, along with the statement: "The
U.S. government provides information on required forms and documentation
for free online and by phone".

(f) The statement: "You may cancel this contract at any time. You have
three (3) business days to cancel this contract without fee or penalty
and get back any fees that you have already paid. Notice of cancellation
may be made by completing the cancellation form included in this
contract, or otherwise notifying the provider in writing and delivering
such form or notification to the provider in person or by United States
mail to (specify address). If you cancel this contract you will get back
any documents you submitted to the provider".

(g) Each contract shall contain a separate final page titled
"Cancellation Form." The cancellation form shall contain the following
statement: "I hereby cancel the contract of (date of contract) between
(name of provider, address of provider, and phone number of provider)
and (name of customer)." Below the statement shall be a customer
signature and date line. Below the signature and date line, the form
shall contain the statement required by paragraph (h) of this
subdivision, printed in twelve point or larger text.

(h) A statement that the immigrant assistance service provider has
financial surety in effect for the benefit of any customer in the event
that the customer is owed a refund, or is damaged by the actions of the
provider, together with the name, address and telephone number of the

(i) The statement: "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 office for new
Americans hotline at (phone number of the office for new Americans), 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 service provider shall be responsible for providing the
accurate and up-to-date phone numbers required in such statement.

(j) The statement: "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 provider shall promptly notify the customer in writing when
such provider has disclosed any information to or filed any form or
document with immigration or other authorities when such disclosure or
filing was required by law and done without the knowledge and consent of
the customer.

(k) The statement: "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 customer
on demand and without fee."

(l) On the same page as the signature line, the statement: "The
individual providing assistance to you under the terms of this contract
must explain the contents of this contract to you and answer any
questions about it that you may have."