Executive Office for Immigration Review Announces Final Rule on the Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives
FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced a final rule titled, Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives. This new rule, effective Jan. 18, 2017, amends the regulations governing the requirements and procedures for authorizing representatives of non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organizations to represent persons in proceedings before EOIR and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This announcement comes after EOIR published a proposed version of this rule in the Federal Register in October 2015 and sought public comment through a series of public meetings to discuss the proposed rule’s potential impact.
The purpose of the rule is to promote the effective and efficient administration of justice before EOIR and DHS by increasing the availability of competent, non-lawyer representation for low-income and indigent persons. The rule is also intended to reduce the likelihood that such persons become victims of fraud and abuse.
Set forth in the rule are a variety of measures to achieve its objectives. In addition to amending the regulations to increase the number of accredited representatives for underserved populations, the rule also clarifies the recognition and accreditation (R&A) application processes, establishes greater oversight and accountability for recognized organizations and accredited representatives, and enhances the management of the R&A roster. Moreover, the rule updates the disciplinary process to ensure that recognized organizations are subject to sanctions for conduct that violates the public interest. The rule also relocates management of the R&A Program from the Board of Immigration Appeals to the Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP).
The rule is published in the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/12/19/2016-29726/recognition-of-organizations-and-accreditation-of-non-attorney-representatives. EOIR will be holding a stakeholder webinar/teleconference on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 at 1 p.m.to discuss the effects of the rule on the agency’s R&A Program.