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Below you will find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the type of help an accredited representative can provide.

  •  What is an accredited representative?

    • A representative is "accredited" when the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) gives permission to a specially qualified non-lawyer to represent aliens on behalf of a recognized organization. The BIA will accredit non-lawyers only when they work for a recognized organization and will never accredit a non-lawyer who tries to practice immigration law on his or her own.

      There are two kinds of accreditation: "partial" and "full." A partially accredited representative may represent aliens before DHS only. A fully accredited representative may represent aliens before both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Review (EOIR)(the immigration courts and the BIA).

  •  What is a recognized organization?

    • An organization is "recognized" when the BIA gives a non-profit organization in the United States permission to practice immigration law before either DHS and/or EOIR, which includes the immigration courts and the BIA. By regulation, a non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organization established in the United States that has been approved for recognition is called a recognized organization.

  •  How do I find a recognized organization and accredited representatives?

    • Recognized organizations and accredited representatives are listed alphabetically on lists (called "rosters") maintained by the BIA. The rosters include the current names and addresses of the organizations and representatives, and identify the type of accreditation. You can also search the rosters by state. You can find the rosters at:

  •  How often are the rosters of recognized organizations and accredited representatives updated?

    • The rosters are updated weekly. For the most recent information, contact the Recognition and Accreditation (R&A) Program Coordinator at (703) 305-9029.

  •  How can I tell if someone is an accredited representative? Does the BIA issue ID cards to accredited representatives?

    • The BIA does not issue ID cards to accredited representatives, but you can see if the name of the representative and/or the organization are listed on the BIA's rosters (available on the EOIR website). The BIA's order approving accreditation also shows the name of the representative's organization, the date accreditation was approved, and whether the representative has partial (DHS only) or full (DHS and immigration court) accreditation. The rosters also show when the representative's accreditation will expire.

  •  What if I still have questions about the recognition and accreditation process?

  •  How can I protect myself from unauthorized practitioners?

  •  How can I protect myself from fraud?

Updated October 2013

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