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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
1. GENERAL INFORMATION
2. PREPARATION: SETTING AN ACTION PLAN, ACQUIRING ESSENTIAL TRAINING, AND COMPILING THE APPLICATION
3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRACTICE AFTER BIA ACCREDITATION
4. IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY EDUCATION MATERIALS
How to Tell if an Agency is Recognized:
- State Listing 
- Who Can Help with Immigration Matters 
- Protect Yourself from Immigration Consultant Fraud 
- Immigration Consultant Fraud: Basic Information and What You Can Do If You Are a Victim of Fraud