Important Notice - New Final Rule for Recognition and Accreditation

The Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) issued a new rule for recognition of nonprofit organizations and accreditation for non-attorney staff serving as legal representatives in immigration proceedings. This rule became effective on January 18, 2017.

See "New DOJ R&A" on Recognition and Accreditation Toolkit homepage for updated information

DOJ Recognition and Accreditation

How can CLINIC help me get the training I need to qualify for initial accreditation?

Applicants for initial accreditation must establish that they have knowledge and experience in immigration law and have taken at least one recent formal overview of immigration law course. CLINIC offers two different training options to meet these requirements, each described below. We also offer monthly webinars on a wide range of immigration law issues, which helps both new and experienced practitioners stay up-to-date with immigration law developments.

Option 1: Multiple Trainings

In option 1, participants taking the shorter overview course will deepen their immigration law knowledge through additional, more detailed core issue trainings.


Overview Training

Introduction to Immigration Law Practice: A Course for New Practitioners

This training fulfills the formal overview training requirement the DOJ requires for initial accreditation. The next training will take place at the CLINIC Convening, where participants who attend each of the 8 workshops in this track will complete the curriculum for the training.


Core Issue Trainings

CLINIC also offers several training courses on core topics in immigration law that particularly benefit a new legal practitioner planning to seek initial accreditation. In particular, we recommend taking at least two of the following courses to ensure that you have a solid foundation in immigration law fundamentals. These trainings are offered at different times throughout the year. To find out what trainings are coming up visit our training calendar.



Four-week e-learning course covering concepts of inadmissibility and deportability and providing in-depth coverage of most common grounds of inadmissibility. 



Four-week e-learning course covering waiver eligibility and how to file a successful waiver.


Introduction to Family Based Immigration

Six-week e-learning course covering all the stages of immigrating through a family-based petition.


Citizenship and Naturalization

Four-week e-learning course covering both acquired and derived citizenship for certain children born abroad, and citizenship through an application for naturalization.


El Paso Family-Based Immigration Law Conference

CLINIC sponsors an annual two-day conference on family-based immigration, which regularly includes speakers from the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, and an optional third day visit to the Consulate. Participants new to family-based immigration can attend a pre-conference session reviewing the basics of this area of law. To find out when the next training will be, visit our training calendar.

Note that each e-learning course includes one webinar for each week of the course, as well as self-directed learning activities involving reading, exercises, and a quiz. These additional weekly activities take about two and a half hours to complete.

Option 2: COIL Course

Comprehensive Overview of Immigration Law (COIL)

CLINIC now offers an intensive six-week e-course for the aspiring or new practitioner who is prepared to make the time commitment required to fully participate in this course and complete its requirements. 

The Comprehensive Overview of Immigration Law ("COIL") e-course has an accelerated pace, including two 90-minute webinars each week, as well as self-directed learning activities to support each course unit.

Overall, a course participant should expect to spend between 8 and 10 hours each week to attend or listen to recordings of the weekly webinars, and complete the corresponding course activities. Course completion also requires achieving a passing grade on an open-book final exam.

If you have the time to devote to this learning experience, then this course is a great way to quickly learn the fundamentals of immigration law and establish the training background to support an application for DOJ accreditation.

Sign up for our listserv to receive the most up-to-date news on the next COIL offering and much more! 

Enhanced Knowledge via 90-Minute Webinars

CLINIC regularly offers webinars addressing specific issues in immigration law. Webinars cover topics of common interest to immigration legal practitioners, including a review of the latest developments in immigration law and procedure. Visit our training calendar to learn about upcoming webinar trainings.

Home » DOJ R&A

Frequently Asked Questions About DOJ Accreditation and Training

How much immigration law do I need to know to qualify for initial DOJ accreditation?

Case decisions issued by the DOJ require candidates for accredited representative status to have a broad knowledge of immigration law and procedure. This means that you need to have an immigration law background that enables you to spot issues or remedies that may relate to services not provided by your agency. For example, even if your agency doesn't represent asylum applicants, the DOJ wants to know that you have enough knowledge of immigration law to recognize when this remedy may apply to someone you counsel.


What are the training requirements for initial accreditation?

The DOJ requires that applicants for initial accreditation have recently completed at least one formal training course providing an overview of immigration law. An overview training is one that covers the fundamentals of immigration law and procedure and shows how different sections of immigration law are interconnected and impact other areas of law. 

Although the DOJ has only specifically imposed a requirement of one formal overview training for initial accreditation, it has also addressed what issues it considers to be part of core training on immigration law. This includes routes to permanent resident status, inadmissibility grounds and waivers, the removal process and relief from removal, humanitarian remedies and naturalization, as well as practice skills including research and writing, interviewing, case management, and ethics.

If you are working for an agency or program that specializes in a particular type of service (e.g. VAWA and U visa applications), you also need to show that you have training directed to that specialty area.


Do I need to have a certain number of training hours to qualify for initial accreditation?

You do not need to show a specific number of hours of training to qualify for initial accreditation, but the DOJ has stated that an application is strengthened by each extra hour of documented training. Ultimately, you need to persuade the DOJ that you have a core knowledge of immigration law sufficient to represent your program's clients and to make appropriate referrals.


If I don't have time for a course, does CLINIC offer other types of training?

In addition to extended courses on core immigration issues, CLINIC also regularly offers webinars on specialized topics in immigration law. These 90-minute presentations can help deepen your knowledge about a particular immigration law issue and bring you up-to-date on legal developments.


Is CLINIC's "Fundamentals of Immigration Law" rapid e-course an overview training that would meet the DOJ training requirement?

No, this course is not the equivalent of a formal overview training on immigration law. This course is a 90-minute rapid e-course that provides a very basic orientation to core immigration law concepts and information. The course content, however, is much abbreviated and is not sufficient to support an application for accredited representative status.


Do I need any special training to qualify for full accreditation?

Full accredited representatives can represent individuals in immigration court and in appeals before the DOJ. For this reason, an applicant for full accredited representative status needs to show the DOJ that she or he has legal research and writing skills and training in trial and appellate advocacy. CLINIC has sponsored court skills training for non-attorney legal workers in the past and may provide this training again, depending on demand. If you are interested in a court skills training, please let us know by contacting the assigned Field Support Coordinator for your state.


Do I need to continue to get training in order to renew my accredited representative status?

Yes, we recommend that you participate in training on an ongoing basis after becoming an accredited representative. Immigration law and procedure is constantly changing, and training helps you keep abreast of these changes as well as deepen and strengthen your knowledge and your practice skills. In addition, DOJ notes that renewal requests should also provide documentation that the accredited representative has received additional formal training in immigration law since the most recent accreditation. Visit our training calendar to learn about upcoming training opportunities.


How can CLINIC help me get the training that will continue to develop my knowledge and skills after I am accredited? 

Check CLINIC's training calendar and website to look for the courses that will provide you with training in new practice areas (e.g., waivers, removal, citizenship, crimes, humanitarian relief, and selected issues in naturalization) or deepen your knowledge of immigration law through more advanced coverage of particular immigration law issues. In addition, CLINIC's webinars provide focused coverage and updates on immigration law and procedure and can also help you document your ongoing training as an accredited representative.


Whom should I contact if I have more questions about what training I should take?

If you have questions about a particular course, contact the person listed on the course flier for more information about the training content. For other general questions about training and appropriate courses to take for DOJ accreditation, please contact the assigned Field Support Coordinator for your state.

How can I make sure I know about upcoming training opportunities?  Sign up to receive notifications of upcoming trainings and webinars, as well as other updates you would like to receive via email.

Field Support Coordinator Chart

Please use the following chart to contact the appropiate Field Support Coordinator for your area.


Laura Burdick

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