EOIR Self- Help Legal Centers
Self Help Legal Centers, located within immigration courts, provide general legal information as well as specific information about the local immigration court to pro se respondents and other interested parties. The centers provide materials for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for legal advice. They neither constitute any legal opinion by the Department of Justice nor create any rights or benefits. Further, they do not address all applicable laws or case interpretations, and are subject to change as new laws and regulations are enacted and circuit case precedent changes.
The centers provide blank forms including change of address and fee waiver forms. Information is provided on various forms of relief, including Asylum and Voluntary Departure, as well as the answers to frequently asked questions about the local immigration court.
Self-Help Legal Centers can facilitate respondents’ access to legal information, which in turn can increase court efficiency and improve outcomes in the immigration courts. As described in EOIR OPPM 08-01, materials provided at Self Help Legal Centers “have the ability to increase respondents’ understanding of immigration laws, removal proceedings, and the implications of their pleadings.” Respondents who have access to basic information require less assistance from court staff and are better prepared when they appear before an immigration judge. In addition, immigration judges can directly refer unrepresented respondents to the centers and the respondent can then obtain helpful information.
Self-Help Guides to Immigration Removal Proceedings and Common Forms of Relief
The following guides provide information on immigration removal proceedings and several common forms of relief from removal (deportation). The guides were written by nonprofit organizations and tailored to assist individuals detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These guides were adapted for widespread distribution and reviewed by EOIR and ICE, and are now available in all ICE detention facilities where aliens are held for 72 hours or longer. As noted above, the guides should be used for general informational purposes only and are not a substitute for legal advice. The distribution of these guides in ICE detention facilities and on this website does not indicate that EOIR’s or ICE’s interpretation of the law is the same as that expressed in the guides, or that EOIR or ICE endorse any of the organizations which drafted these guides.
Notice to Appear (NTA)
Accessing an Attorney
Change of Address and Change of Venue
Cancellation of Removal for Nonpermanent Residents (42B)
- Do You Disagree with the IJ's Decision
- ¿Está usted en Desacuerdo con la Decisión del Juez de Inmigración?
The ABA Know Your Rights Video - This updated video was created by the American Bar Association in collaboration with several immigrant advocacy organizations to introduce individuals in immigration detention to the immigration court system. The 45-minute video offers information that shows individuals how to navigate the court system and what to expect as they await their day in court. Through a series of vignettes with actors re-enacting typical scenarios, the video uses adult-education techniques to aid in comprehension and retention.
ImmigrationLawHelp.org - A website to help low income individuals find help for their immigration proceedings. The website allows individuals to search in a variety of ways including by state and county, or by detention facility, to find organizations that offer free or low-cost legal services in the area of their choice.
Note: ImmigrationLawHelp.org is separate and distinct from EOIR’s list of Free Legal Service Providers, which is available here.
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. (CLINIC) - provides a toolkit for nonprofit agencies that wish to provide legal immigration services to low income and indigent aliens.
The Florence Project (Arizona) - The Florence Project is a nonprofit legal service organization that provides free legal services to men, women and children detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), formerly known as the INS. The Florence Project has also developed comprehensive self-help legal materials for detained individuals proceeding without legal representation.
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (also under Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) - LIRS is the national agency set up by Lutheran churches in the United States to carry out the churches' ministry with uprooted people. LIRS programs include: refugee resettlement, foster care for refugee minors, assistance for political asylum seekers, immigration training and consulting, legislative advocacy, and public education.
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