This week, I attended a helpful webinar put on by CLINIC regarding applying for DOJ Recognition and Accreditation. As you may know, DOJ recognition and accreditation permits organizations and their non-attorney accredited representatives to represent clients in immigration proceedings. DOJ recognition and accreditation can help your organizations ensure better client services and ensure quality of immigration advice.
To be eligible for recognition, an organization must:
- Be a non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organization;
- Provide services primarily to low-income and indigent clients within the U.S.;
- Have a written policy for persons unable to pay, if the organization charges fees for its services;
- Have a federal tax exempt status;
- Maintain at least one accredited representative on staff;
- Have access to adequate knowledge, information, and experience on immigration law and procedure; and
- Designate an authorized officer to act on the organization’s behalf.
For a staff member to become accredited, the individual must:
- Be an employee or volunteer of the organization;
- Have character and fitness to represent clients;
- Possess broad knowledge and adequate experience in immigration law and procedure;
- Not be an attorney who is eligible to practice law in the U.S.;
- Not have resigned while under disciplinary investigation or proceeding;
- Not be subject to any order disbarring or restricting the practice of law; and
- Not be convicted of any serious crime anywhere in the world.
First-time organization recognition is conditional for two years, and must be renewed every six years thereafter. There are also reporting, recordkeeping, and posting requirements after recognition and accreditation.
If you are interested in more information, check out these resources:
- CLINIC R&A Toolkit and Step-by-Step Guide: cliniclegal.org/R&A
- EOIR R&A Website and FAQs: justice.gov/eoir/recognition-and-accreditation-program