On, February 17, 2012 the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced that it was reviewing and considering amendments to the regulations governing the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives who appear before EOIR. CLINIC then participated in both open public meetings hosted by EOIR to solicit public comment on both these regulations. Additionally, CLINIC submitted comments on March 6, 2012 prior to the public meetings and these comments on March 30, 2012 on behalf of its network.
Once EOIR finalizes any changes, CLINIC will update this Toolkit to reflect the new regulations. Please check back frequently to be alerted to any new information.
Does your nonprofit agency want to develop a legal immigration program, but lack attorneys on staff or the money to hire them?
Does your nonprofit agency want to continue providing legal immigration services, but avoid engaging in the unauthorized practice of law?
Does your nonprofit agency have immigration attorneys on staff, but want to expand its capacity by getting authorization for non-attorney staff to practice immigration law?
In these situations, your agency needs to seek recognition for itself and accreditation for its non-attorney staff from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). BIA recognition and accreditation is the Department of Justice’s certification of charitable immigration agencies and staff, and allows non-attorney staff to practice immigration law before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the immigration courts.
The rules governing recognition and accreditation can be found at 8 CFR Section 292.2.
However, the regulations are brief and do not address some of the challenges in compiling the BIA recognition and accreditation application.
This toolkit is designed to educate agencies on the need for BIA recognition and accreditation and to assist them in the application process. It is divided into four sections:
- Section One provides background information about the importance of BIA recognition and accreditation.
- Section Two takes you through the steps needed to prepare for and compile the application.
- Section Three provides guidelines on the professional code of conduct for BIA accredited representatives and information on how to protect your agency from liability.
- Section Four focuses on the widespread problem of immigration fraud and provides resources for educating the immigrant community.
CLINIC welcomes your feedback on this toolkit, including suggestions for additional materials to include. If you have any feedback or questions, please contact Laura Burdick at email@example.com.
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
"BIA Issues Two Decisions on Recognition and Accreditation" - By Jennie Guilfoyle, CLINIC Staff Attorney
2. PREPARATION: SETTING AN ACTION PLAN, ACQUIRING ESSENTIAL TRAINING, AND COMPILING THE APPLICATION
Step-by-Step Guide for BIA Accreditation and Recognition - World Relief and CLINIC
3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRACTICE AFTER BIA ACCREDITATION
4. IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY EDUCATION MATERIALS
How to Tell if an Agency is Recognized:
Filing Complaints Against Notarios and Immigration Consultants (includes state-by-state contact information for consumer protection issues)