The time is now to obtain Department of Justice (DOJ) Recognition and Accreditation (R&A)! Receiving the wrong advice on immigration laws can have dramatic results. Families and individuals have lost thousands of dollars and been placed in deportation proceedings, sometimes losing all hope of becoming eligible for future benefits, because they followed the wrong advice. Help us fight back against these practices by applying for DOJ R&A today!
What is DOJ R&A?
The Office of Legal Access Programs within the Department of Justice can grant authorization to certain non-lawyers to represent clients before U.S. immigration agencies.
Why should I seek DOJ R&A?
Becoming Recognized and Accredited will allow your organization and its staff to help immigrants in your community who cannot afford private lawyers. Too often, immigrants become victims of unscrupulous practitioners who take their money and either never file anything, or file fake applications that can lead to sanctions and deportation down the road. If you become Accredited, you can help protect our immigrant communities from unscrupulous legal service providers. Most importantly, obtaining Recognition and Accreditation will help you avoid unauthorized practice of law, which is a crime in New York State. Recognition is only for organizations, and the DOJ will only accredit non-lawyer representatives if they work or volunteer for a recognized organization. Non-profit religious, charitable, or social services agencies can become DOJ-recognized.
What is Unauthorized Practice of Law?
Anyone assisting a person in preparing and filing an immigration form, or representing that person before immigration agencies is practicing law. These unlawful activities include helping an individual choose which form to prepare, fill out the form, and determine which documents to submit along with the form. Only lawyers and Accredited Representatives can practice immigration law. Anyone else is committing unauthorized practice of law.
How do I get Recognition/Accreditation?
Applying for R&A requires several steps, but is a free process. The NYIC holds regular webinars on the application process, and also offers three one-week DOJ Recognition and Accreditation trainings each year. Please check our Training Calendar or subscribe to our mailing list to find out about upcoming trainings. You can also find out more by reviewing the information on the EOIR website.
For any questions about Recognition and Accreditation, please email [email protected].