Office of Policy – Recognition & Accreditation

The EOIR Office of Policy has adopted two temporary measures to assist organizations that are applying to renew recognition or the accreditation of the organization’s representatives; responding to certain notices; or submitting certain requests.

First, deadlines between March 1, 2020, and May 15, 2020, for any of the below-listed documents are automatically extended to the date ninety (90) calendar days from the original due date:

  1. Application for Renewal of Recognition (Form EOIR-31)
  2. Application for Renewal of Accreditation (Form EOIR-31A)
  3. Request for Reconsideration of an Initial Application
  4. Response to a Notice of Intent to Disapprove
  5. Response to a Notice of Intent to Terminate
  6. Request for Extension of Time to Submit Recommendation (USCIS)

Second, organizations may submit their documentation by email to instead of by mail or shipping service. EOIR will accept digital[1] and electronic[2] signatures on all applications submitted through the R&A Program, regardless of method of submission to EOIR.[3] The resulting digital or electronic signature must clearly display the signer’s name or a reproduction of the signer’s handwritten signature. The signature should also include a printed (i.e., handwritten in print or typed) version of the signer’s name below or adjacent to the signature if it is not provided in the digital or electronic signature itself. EOIR will accept electronically-reproduced[4] copies of documents containing digital, electronic, or “wet” signatures.[5] EOIR will also continue to accept original documents containing wet signatures. Submitters must maintain original copies of all documents submitted by email and be prepared to produce them for EOIR upon the agency’s request.


[1] A digital signature is defined as a signature performed via a recognized system that provides Personal Key Infrastructure (PKI) from the signer at the time of signing.

[2] An electronic signature is defined as a signature performed using a device that does not provide PKI at the time of signing (e.g., stylus and touchpad).

[3] This guidance does not apply to copies of applications or supporting documentation that an organization must submit to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

[4] An electronic reproduction includes documents that are scanned, faxed, photocopied, or similarly reproduced.

[5] A “wet” signature is defined as a signature completed with an ink pen on a paper document.

Updated December 10, 2020

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