New York General Business Law Section 460-B - Immigrant assistance service contracts.

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 cancellation.

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 service.

(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 surety.

(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."

Last modified: February 3, 2019