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Toolkit for BIA Recognition & Accreditation

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 lburdick@cliniclegal.org.

 

1.  GENERAL INFORMATION

EOIR Main Page on the Recognition & Accreditation Program

Update on New BIA Regulations

NEW CLINIC webinar, “All About BIA Recognition and Accreditation”

Board of Immigration Appeals FAQ Sheet on the Recognition and Accreditation Program

"BIA Releases New FAQ Sheet on Recognition and Accreditation" - CLINIC news article

BIA Precedent Decision, Matter of Central California Legal Services, Inc. (2013)

“BIA Addresses Training Requirements for Accredited Representatives” – CLINIC news article

"BIA Issues Two Decisions on Recognition and Accreditation" - CLINIC news article

Form G-28: Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative

 

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

Form EOIR-31, Request for Recognition of a Non-Profit Religious, Charitable, Social Service, or Similar Organization

Checklist for BIA Recognition and Accreditation Process

Action Plan for Applying for BIA Recognition and Accreditation

CLINIC Training Calendar

Self-Directed E-Learning Course on Fundamentals of Immigration Law

Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) Training Calendar

Immigration Law Library Resources

Sample Application for BIA Agency Recognition and Staff Accreditation: See page 15 of Step-by-Step Guide

Sample Application Cover Letter for BIA Staff Accreditation: See page 19 of Step-by-Step Guide

 

3. CONSIDERATIONS FOR PRACTICE AFTER BIA ACCREDITATION

EOIR Fact Sheet on Professional Conduct Rules for Immigration Attorneys and Representatives

CLINIC's Core Standards for Charitable Immigration Programs

Model Code of Professional Responsibility for BIA Accredited Representatives

Prohibition Against Providing Legal Services Outside the Office & Expectations of Employees

Applying for Renewal of Agency Staff/Volunteer Accreditation: See page 13 of Step-by-Step Guide

Immigration Advocates Network manual, "Notario Fraud Remedies: A Practice Manual for Immigration Practioners"

 

4. IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY EDUCATION MATERIALS

How to Tell if an Agency is Recognized:

EOIR List of Currently Disciplined Practitioners

Outreach Flyers:

American Bar Association (ABA) Campaign to Fight Notario Fraud

USCIS Information on Finding Legal Advice

USCIS Outreach Materials

Federal Trade Commission Resources

Resources by type: