Bonding Requirements for California Immigration Consultants
To get licensed as an immigration consultant in California, you must undergo a number of licensing steps. One of the most important ones is posting an immigration consultant bond.
The bond acts like other types of surety bonds, in that it’s an agreement between the immigration consultant and the state, backed by a surety bonds company. By getting licensed and bonded, the consultant pledges to abide by relevant state laws and regulations, specifically with the Business and Professions Code, Division 8, Chapter 19.5 and Chapter 2, Title 14, Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure
Like other types of bonds, immigration consultant bonds are required for the protection of people applying for residency in the U.S. If the consultant uses unethical business practices, such as promising to perform services they are incapable of, making false statements, or charging fees for services they have not performed, their clients can obtain compensation thanks to the bond.
If you want to learn more about immigration consultant bonds in California and the process of getting bonded, read on. If you need our assistance don’t hesitate to call us at 866.450.3412.
California Immigration Consultant Bond Cost
If you trigger a claim, you can be liable for up to $100,000 which is the bond’s penal sum. However, to get bonded you need only to cover a fraction of that amount, called a bond premium.
Premiums for this bond are paid once every two years in order for the bond to remain in effect. You can estimate your premium if you know your credit score. Typically, applicants with good credit score (above 700) will pay between 2% and 6% which translates into payments of between $1,500 and $3,000 for the 2-year period. Those with bad credit are subject to more underwriting consideration (see next section).
The table below can help you get a rough estimate of your bonding expenses using your credit score as the only factor. Keep in mind, however, that there are sometimes more underwriting criteria involved, which could influence your cost.
|State and Bond Name||Surety Bond Amount||Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|California Immigration Consultant Bond||$100,000||$1,500-3,000||$2,000-$5,000||$5,000-$10,000||$10,000-$20,000|
Check out our surety bond cost guide to learn about all the factors that can influence your premium, as well as some handy tips for reducing it. [banner]
Getting Bonded with Bad Credit
As we mentioned, the underwriting process can be a bit more complicated for applicants with bad credit. That being said, 99% of them can still get bonded. As you can see from the table above, bad credit premiums are typically higher. This is because there’s a higher risk involved for bonding companies, which are responsible for all bonds they sign.
If you have bad credit, you might be asked to submit additional documentation such as financial statements. If you have strong finances, this will actually help lower your costs because it is a sign that you can pay any claims that might be filed.
Other factors that can put you in the high-risk category include past due items in your credit report, such as tax liens and civil judgments.
Get a Free Quote!
Want to start your application for a California immigration consultant bond? Start by submitting our one-page application and we will contact you with a free quote.
We’ll strive to get you bonded as quickly as possible, and our knowledgeable experts will help you with every step throughout the application process, so you can rest assured and focus on what’s important to you: your business.
For any questions related to your bond application, do not hesitate to call us at 866.450.3412.
Tips on Handling Claims
According to the law this surety bond is “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.”
As long as you don’t engage in unethical business practices that cause damage or losses to other people, there should be no grounds for a claim against you. However, if you are notified of a claim that you believe to be incorrect, you can contact the surety and get assistance on the best course of action. If it turns out you have violated the law, it’s best for you to settle the claim as soon as possible. If you aren’t at fault, you should present your case to the surety, and may even get legal assistance so you can fight the claim in court.