California Immigration Consultant Bond
To become a certified immigration consultant in California you need a California Immigration Consultant License. This state license issued by the California Secretary of State has many requirements, which include a background check, valid ID, a passport photo, and a $100,000 California immigration consultant bond.
What is a California Immigration Consultant Bond?
A California immigration consultant bond is required for any person or business offering immigration consulting services in CA. This surety bond is put in place to benefit any person damaged by fraud, misstatements, misrepresentation, unlawful acts, or omissions made by the immigration service provider. In short, it acts as a financial guarantee that a licensed immigration consultant will:
- Follow through with all contractual obligations.
- Conduct business in an ethical and lawful manner, according to California Code 22444 and all other applicable state laws.
If the consultant fails to do either of the above, the surety company that issued the bond will pay for any losses and damages up to the full amount of the bond ($100,000). The consultant must then pay back the surety in full.
Important: A California immigration consultant surety bond is not insurance for your business—it is a financial reassurance set in place for your clients. You need to obtain it to get your immigration consultant license in California. However, you hope never to use it (have a claim made against it).
How Much Does a California Immigration Consultant Bond Cost?
You can get a $100,000 California immigration consultant bond for as little as $1,000.
The amount you pay to secure a bond is a small percentage of the penal sum of the bond (full bond amount).
For example, those with a good credit rating often only pay 1% - 5% of the full bond amount. That translates to $1,000 - $5,000 to secure a $100,000 California immigration consultant bond for a two-year term. This amount (bond premium) can be paid in a lump sum or financed.
Can You Get an Immigration Consultant Bond with Bad Credit?
In many cases, yes, you can get bonded with bad credit. Most license and permit bonds, such as immigration consultant bonds, are obtainable at a higher rate (often 5% - 10%) for those with lower personal credit. For those with more severe credit issues, the percentage may be higher. These are often called “bad credit surety bonds”, but the underwriting and bonding processes are no different from any other bond.
Immigration Consultant Bond Requirements
Bond Form & Filing Fee
A completed bond form and the filing fee (currently $30) must be sent to the California Secretary of State.
This procedure is summarized in Section 22443.1 of the Business and Professions Code of the State of California. There, you will also find all other immigration consultant surety bond requirements.
CA Immigration Consultant License Qualifications
The only reason to get a CA immigration consultant bond is to qualify for your consultant license. Therefore, you should double-check you meet the other immigration consultant qualification requirements for this license before paying for a surety bond. These include:
- A valid and current photo ID
- 2” x 2” passport photo
- A background check that reveals no disqualifying misdemeanors
- Completed Immigration Consultant Disclosure Form
How Do I Get a California Immigration Consultant Bond?
Step 1: Choose a Surety Company
You need to find a surety company that is not only reputable but that fits your specific bonding needs. For this bond, it must be a corporate surety permitted to do business in the state of California. Additionally, they must offer the type of bond you need.
Looking for the best price? Larger surety providers, such as JW Surety, offer the most competitive rates thanks to the large number of bonds they underwrite.
Read How to Choose the Right Surety for more money-saving tips and information.
Step 2: Apply for the Surety Bond
When applying for a surety bond, most choose to go with an online bond application—it provides a free bond quote instantly and is the best option to get bonded fast! However, applying over the phone or through mail is also possible, depending on which surety company you choose.
Step 3: Sign the Agreement & Pay Your Invoice
Once you are approved, you will receive your bond agreement. Sign it, email or fax it back to your bond provider, and pay your invoice. Once everything is processed, you will receive an email copy of the surety bond. Additionally, the original bond will be sent to you in the mail.
Step 4: Double Check Your Bond Information
Ensure you have the right information on your bond before you submit it to the California SOS (next step). You want to ensure that the bond name and amount are correct, as well as the parties. Three parties are involved in every surety bond, and for a California immigration consultant bond, they are as follows.
Principal: You (the person that needs to get bonded).
Obligee: The California Secretary of State (the entity requiring the principal to get bonded).
Surety: Your bonding company (The one issuing and backing the bond).
If something is incorrect on your bond, contact your surety immediately.
Step 5: Submit Your Bond Form
Send your bond and the filing fee to:
California Secretary of State
P.O. Box 942870
Sacramento CA 94277-2870
Note: Mail is currently the only option for bond form filing with the California SOS—in-person and electronic submissions are not accepted.