The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new rule to enhance the integrity of the immigration adjudication process. The rule clarifies who is authorized to represent applicants and petitioners in cases before DHS; updates and enhances the standards and disciplinary procedures for these immigration practitioners; and eliminates duplicative immigration adjudication rules, procedures and authority. The new rules and procedures published on Feb. 2, 2010, in the Federal Register take effect on March 3, 2010.
Questions and Answers
Q. Do I have to be represented by an attorney in immigration proceedings before DHS?
A. No. You may represent yourself in immigration proceedings, or you may choose to be represented by an eligible attorney admitted to practice in the United States or by an eligible non-attorney accredited representative (see below for more information). For a list of accredited organizations and individual representatives, please visit the Justice Department’s webpage.
Q. How do I notify DHS that I am represented by an attorney or an accredited representative?
A. You and your attorney or accredited representative will file a “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative,”(Form G-28) with your application or petition, following which DHS will review your representative’s eligibility.
Q. How do I know if my attorney is eligible to represent me in a proceeding filed with DHS?
A. Visit the USCIS Finding Legal Advice webpage.
Q. How do I know if my non-attorney representative is eligible to represent me in a proceeding filed with DHS?
A. Eligible non-attorney representatives must be accredited representatives of recognized non-profit religious, charitable, social service, or similar organizations that have been granted permission to assist individuals in immigration matters from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Visit the USCIS Finding Legal Advice webpage.
Q. Can a notario, immigration consultant or immigration service provider represent me before DHS and file a Form G-28?
A. No. Notarios, immigration consultants, and other service providers that are not BIA-recognized organizations may not represent you before DHS and may not file Form G-28.
Q. How do I file a complaint about an attorney or an immigration practitioner?
A. You may file a complaint in writing with the DHS Disciplinary Counsel, OCC/USCIS/DHS, 70 Kimball Avenue, Room 103, S. Burlington, VT 05403, using Form EOIR-44, Immigrant Practitioner Complaint For—available on the Department of Justice’s website—or providing the information in a letter.