(a)(1)Prior to engaging in the business or acting in the capacity of an immigration consultant, each person shall file with the Secretary of State a bond of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) executed by a corporate surety admitted to do business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this chapter. The total aggregate liability on the bond shall be limited to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000).
(2)The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure.
(b)The bond required by this section shall be 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.
(c)An immigration consultant who is required to file a surety bond with the Secretary of State shall also file a disclosure form with the Secretary of State that contains all of the following information:
(1)The immigration consultant's name, date of birth, residence address, business address, residence telephone number, and business telephone number.
(2)The name and address of the immigration consultant's agent for service of process if one is required to be or has been appointed.
(3)Whether the immigration consultant has ever been convicted of a violation of this chapter or of Section 6126.
(4)Whether the immigration consultant has ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
(5)If applicable, the name, business address, business telephone number, and agent for service of process of the corporation or partnership employing the immigration consultant.
(d)An immigration consultant shall notify the Secretary of State's office in writing within 30 days when the surety bond required by this section is renewed, and of any change of name, address, telephone number, or agent for service of process.
(e)The Secretary of State shall post information on its Internet Web site demonstrating that an immigration consultant is in compliance with the bond required by this section and has satisfactorily passed the background check required under Section 22441.1, and shall also post a copy of the immigration consultant's photograph. The Secretary of State shall ensure that the information is current and shall update the information at least every 30 days. The Secretary of State shall only post this information and photograph on its Internet Web site if the person has filed and maintained the bond, filed the disclosure form and photograph required to be filed with the Secretary of State, and passed the background check required by Section 22441.1.
(f)The Secretary of State shall develop the disclosure form required to file a bond under this section and make it available to any immigration consultant filing a bond pursuant to this section.
(g)An immigration consultant shall submit all of the following with the disclosure form:
(1)A copy of valid and current photo identification to determine the immigration consultant's identity, such as a California driver's license or identification card, passport, or other identification acceptable to the Secretary of State.
(2)A photograph of himself or herself with the dimensions and in the style that would be acceptable to the U.S. Department of State for obtaining a United States passport, as instructed by the Secretary of State. An immigration consultant bonded on or before December 31, 2006, shall submit the photograph on or before July 1, 2007.
(h)The Secretary of State shall charge and collect a filing fee to cover the cost of filing the bond.
(i)The Secretary of State shall enforce the provisions of this chapter that govern the filing and maintenance of bonds.
(j)This section does not apply to employees of nonprofit, tax-exempt corporations who help clients complete application forms in an immigration matter free of charge or for a fee, including reasonable costs, consistent with that authorized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under Section 292.2 of Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.