BIA Powerpoint - Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.

Report
BIA Recognition and
Accreditation
May 24, 2013
Silvana Arista & Laura Burdick
Capacity Building Section
Presenters
Silvana Arista, Program Coordinator,
CLINIC
Laura Burdick, Field Support Coordinator,
CLINIC
2
Overview
• What is BIA R&A & why apply?
• R&A requirements
• The BIA application process & supporting
documentation
• Training recommendations
• After approval
• New developments in R&A
• Considerations for CIR
3
What is Board of Immigration
Appeals (BIA) ?
• Part of U.S. Department of Justice,
Executive Office of Immigration Review
(EOIR)
• Appeals court for immigration court cases
• Grants agency recognition and individual
accreditation to practice immigration law
8 CFR § 292.2
4
What is BIA R & A?
• Authorizes non-profit agencies and their
staff to practice immigration law
• Agency must receive recognition for staff
(non-attorneys) to be accredited
• Recognition doesn’t expire, but can be
revoked; accreditation expires every three
years and is open for renewal
5
Why apply for BIA R & A?
• Expand program services and increase
professionalism
• Strengthen program/ensure better client
services
– More complete/professional services
– Reps. can sign G-28/E-28, obtaining
copies of everything DHS/EOIR sends
to clients
– Reps. can represent client at interviews
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Why apply for BIA R & A? cont.
• Promotes quality of immigration advice
– Substantive immigration law training
required for accreditation
– Ongoing training required
• Lower staffing costs
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Agency Recognition Requirements
• Non-profit agency (best = IRS 501(c)(3))
• Nominal fees
• Knowledge, experience, information of
immigration law/procedure on staff
• Independent existence
Other points
• BIA discretion
• Satellite office, apply separately
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Who can get recognized?
• Jack’s Immigration Shack?
• Jewish Family Services?
• Mi Casa Domestic Violence Treatment
Center?
• Mennonite Central Committee?
• Wal-Mart?
• Trump for President Committee?
9
BIA Recognition Application
• Form EOIR-31
• Cover letter (what agency does & why it
merits recognition)
• Articles of incorporation
• Agency by-laws
10
BIA Recognition Application
• Non-profit status letter
• Immigration library resources (hard copy
and internet)
• Fees for immigration services, if any &
fee waiver policy. Statement re: no dues.
• Funding sources for immigration work
only with amounts (not a budget)
11
BIA Recognition Application
• Organizational chart only including
supervision of immigration staff
• Resumes of staff with immigration training
and/or experience
• Letters of recommendation
• Local newspaper articles showcasing
agency’s great work (optional)
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What’s accreditation?
• Employee/volunteer BIA recognized
nonprofit
• Knowledge and experience in immigration
law (training very helpful)
• Partial or full accreditation
• Lasts for 3 years, renewable
• Does not go where you go
13
Who could get accredited?
• Sylvia, a legal advocate from Domestic
Violence Institute, who has 3 months of
practical immigration experience and attended
three substantive immigration law trainings
apply for accreditation?
• Could the staff at Trump for President
Committee apply for accreditation?
• Jack (Jack’s Imm. Shack) with one year of
immigration experience apply for accreditation?
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Accreditation at Multiple Sites
• All representatives performing legal work
as BIA accredited representatives must
be accredited at each recognized
location.
• Accreditation does not transfer from one
site to another.
15
BIA Accreditation Application
• Cover letter requesting accreditation
• “BIA accreditation resume” of the
applicant
• Certificates/agendas from immigration
trainings
• Letter(s) of recommendation
• Certificate of service on USCIS and ICE
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Technical Legal Support
Requirement
• Must have a letter from attorney or full
accredited representative stating:
– Background and qualifications in
immigration law
– Knowledge of agency/staff
– Will answer immigration law and
procedure questions for agency
– Any fees charged for this support
– Good to recommend agency/staff as well
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Experience the Agency Can Rely
on for Technical Backup
• Full accredited representative (if applying
for recognition)
• Attorney
• Consulting full accredited representative
• Consulting attorney
• All of the above satisfy the experience
requirement
• Document with letter or agreement
• Do not have to show the applicant has
practiced all of immigration law.
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Knowledge
• On Site: Immigration and Nationality Act
and 8 Code of Federal Regulations
• Internet: manuals, webinars, archived
videos, trainings, podcasts, etc.:
– CLINIC, www.cliniclegal.org
– IAN, www.immigrationadvocates.org
– ILRC, www.ilrc.org
– ASISTA, www.asistaonline.org
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Training Opportunities
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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In-person training
E-learning
Webinars
CLINIC self-directed courses
Mentoring
Apprenticeship
Supervision by attorney or BIA accredited
representative
Suggested Training
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Fundamentals of Immigration Law & Procedure
Family-Based Immigration
Citizenship & Naturalization
Program Management
Legal Skills
Bars & Waivers
Inadmissibility
Immigration Consequences of Crimes
Ethics
Training Tips
• Mix of in-person, e-learning, and
webinars recommended
• Keep certificates of all trainings attended
• List trainings on resume
• List who gave the training, title, date,
location, type of training
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Training Resources
• CLINIC trainings, www.cliniclegal.org
• Immigration Advocates Network,
http://immigrationadvocates.org
• Immigrant Legal Resource Center 40-hr
training, www.ilrc.org
– World Relief offering 40-hr training June
17-20, http://worldrelief.org/immigrantlegal-services/events
• Don’t forget about webinars and E-learning
courses (CLINIC has many of these)
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Mailing the Application
• Mail original to:
Recognition and Accreditation Program Coordinator
Board of Immigration Appeals
Clerk’s Office
P.O. Box 8530
Falls Church, VA 22041
*Check BIA website for most current address and courier
address, http://www.justice.gov/eoir/statspub/raroster.htm
• Mail one full copy to USCIS District
Director and one to ICE Chief Counsel
• Send all by certified mail, return receipt
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What happens next?
• USCIS and ICE have 30 days to recommend
for or against application, can request
extension
• If USCIS and/or ICE timely responds against
application, agency can respond to BIA with
copies served on USCIS/ICE with proof of
service
• Agency has 30 days to respond, can request
extension
• Standard processing time: 3 months (once
complete)
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Common Reasons for Delays
• Missing proof of service to USCIS and/or
ICE
• Extension requests by USCIS and/or ICE
• Extension requests by the organization to
respond to USCIS or ICE
• Incomplete application
• Not clearly stating location for where
representative will be accredited
• Not stating whether full or partial
accreditation
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BIA Decision
• BIA sends decision in writing (separate
decisions for agency and staff)
• If denial, BIA will state reasons
• Agency can reapply immediately with
additional information
• If approved, newly accredited rep. may
immediately begin practicing immigration
law at agency
• BIA roster updated with agency info
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After R & A
• Must inform BIA promptly of any changes,
especially if staff leave
• Use certified mail with return receipt
• Must stay up to date on immigration law
changes
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Who is bound by ethics rules?
• Lawyers - ABA Code of Professional
Responsibility
• Legal Advocates/Accredited Reps – Not
bound to ABA Code, but should follow.
Check with your own professional ethics
rules
• Check with your agency
29
Other Sources of Ethics/Standards
• BIA Practice Regulations (8 CFR
1003.101 to 1003.109)
– Professional conduct rules for all practitioners
– 8 CFR 1003.102 – 13 examples for
discipline
• EOIR website (http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/)
– Lists practitioners who have been sanctioned
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Renewal of Accreditation
• Every 3 years
• Apply at least 60 days before
expiration to continue practicing
• Must show continuing immigration
legal education and experience
(update resume and training list)
31
Possible Changes to R & A
• EOIR considering new regulations
• CLINIC submitted comments on
proposed changes in March 2012
• Some areas under discussion:
nominal fees, withdrawal of
recognition, definition of low-income,
required training for reps, ethics
training
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New BIA Decision: Matter of
Central California Legal Services
• March 2013
• Application for initial accreditation
must show recently completed formal
training course designed to give new
practitioners a solid overview of
fundamentals of immigration law and
procedure
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Considerations for CIR
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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Get BIA R&A now
Get additional staff accredited
Get partial rep fully accredited
Get additional office locations recognized
Get volunteers accredited
Budget for training and materials
Help others get R&A
Combat UPL:
www.uscis.gov/avoidscams
Resources
• CLINIC’s Immigration Management
Manual, Chapter 4
• Step-by-Step Guide by World Relief &
CLINIC
• BIA precedent decisions
• Law library resources
• Sample applications
• All resources available free at:
http://www.cliniclegal.org/resources/toolkitbia-recogition-accreditation
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New Resource
• New BIA FAQ Sheet on R&A:
http://www.justice.gov/eoir/statspub/rafaqs.htm
• Also, BIA website:
http://www.justice.gov/eoir/statspub/rarost
er.htm
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Questions?
twitter.com/cliniclegal
415 Michigan Ave., NE
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20017
202-635-2556
[email protected]
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facebook.com/cliniclegal

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