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Recognition & Accreditation (R&A) Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (Revised October 2023) Recognition Form EOIR-31 (PDF)
Recognition and Accreditation Rosters Accreditation Form EOIR-31A (PDF)
Recognition and Accreditation Regulations  

Update Regarding R&A Forms

New R&A Forms EOIR‑31 (application for DOJ recognition of organizations) and EOIR‑31A (application for DOJ accreditation of representatives) [Revised October 2022] are now available at the links above. EOIR will continue to process applications that have already been submitted on prior versions of the forms. However, as of November 3, 2023, organizations are required to use the new forms, and EOIR will return any applications submitted using prior versions of the forms.

Organizations are encouraged to submit their documentation by email to OLAP at instead of by postal mail or shipping service. Organizations should also email a copy of their documentation to the USCIS District Director(s) with jurisdiction over their application. The specific email address for the District Director(s) can be found by entering the organization’s zip code(s) in the USCIS District Office Finder available at

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.

Program Description

Federal regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 1292.1(a)(4) allow non-attorney “Accredited Representatives” to represent aliens before the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which includes the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). These representatives are accredited through the Recognition and Accreditation (R&A) Program, which aims to increase the availability of competent immigration legal representation for low-income and indigent persons, thereby promoting the effective and efficient administration of justice. Accredited Representatives may only provide immigration legal services through Recognized Organizations. Only non-profit, federally tax-exempt entities may apply to be recognized.

Eligibility and Application Process

The standards for Recognized Organizations and Accredited Representatives, including the qualifications and application processes, are found in the Code of Federal Regulations at 8 C.F.R. § 1292.11–1292.20. The Office of Policy, through the Office of Legal Access Programs, adjudicates applications submitted by qualified organizations for recognition and for accreditation of qualified staff.

Organizations must submit Form EOIR‑31 to request recognition, whether initial, renewal, or extension. The regulations also require organizations to submit Form EOIR‑31A when applying for or renewing accreditation of their representatives. Organizations should email these forms and corresponding application packets to EOIR at R‑A‑

The R&A Program’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide more detailed guidance on the requirements and application processes for recognition and accreditation. If you have questions that are not addressed in the FAQs, you can email the R&A Program at

Recognition Renewal

The regulations require that all Recognized Organizations renew their recognition. Organizations that receive initial recognition, must renew their recognition within two years from the approval date.

Once Recognized Organizations have renewed their recognition the first time, they must renew their recognition every six years.

Accreditation Renewal

Accreditation of representatives is valid for three years. Organizations must timely apply for renewal of their representative(s)’ accreditation. The schedule for renewal of recognition and accreditation does not run concurrently. Rather, it depends on when the expiration of each occurs.

Additional R&A Links

Press Release (PDF)

Stakeholder Webinar on Rule Changes


[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 May 13, 2024