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How to Become an Accredited Immigration Representative

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To become an accredited immigration representative, you must first be employed by a company recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals, which will then apply full or partial accreditation on your behalf. The U.S. Department of Justice requires no formal application for accreditation. However, your employer must submit a letter and supporting documentation to request accreditation on your behalf. This paperwork ensures that only persons of good moral character are recognized as accredited immigration representatives.

Ask that your company send a request for accreditation on your behalf. As an individual, you can't apply directly to the Department of Justice, you must apply through your company. If you're accredited with a previous employer, you must apply again if you're working for a new company.

Understand the type of work you're permitted to do under each type of accreditation. Partial accreditation allows you to represent an immigrant before the Department of Homeland Security. Full accreditation allows you to represent immigrants in immigration courts and before the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Write a cover letter and a statement or resume including the nature and extent of your experience and knowledge of immigration and naturalization law and procedures. Explain the type of work you'll be doing and where you'll be working. Specify in your statement whether you're applying for full or partial accreditation. These documents must be prepared on your company's letterhead.

Fill out Form EOIR-31 - Request for Recognition as a Nonprofit Religious, Charitable, Social Service, or Similar Organization Established in the United States, and include it as part of your application. The form is available at www.justice.gov/eoir/eoirforms/instru31.htm

Send copies of your Certificate of Service or Proof of Service to your local District Dire for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the local Chief Counsel in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Include copies in your application and confirmation that it's been sent to the appropriate authorities.

Request a cover letter with recommendations from your company. The letter should contain information about your supervisor and specify if you're working under another accredited representative or attorney.

Prepare the documents according to the guidelines.

Determine the type of mail service you'll be using to send your application. For delivery by courier or overnight service, send to this address:

Recognition and Accreditation Program Coordinator Executive Office for Immigration Review
Clerk's Office 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2000 Falls Church, VA 22041

For regular First Class mail, send your application to:

Recognition and Accreditation Program Coordinator Executive Office for Immigration Review Clerk's Office P.O. Box 8530 Falls Church, VA 22041

Tip

Remember to renew your accreditation every 3 years. If you send your application at least 60 days before the end of your third year, the accreditation will remain valid until you receive an official confirmation of renewal.

Apply for a new accreditation when you start to work for a new company as its validity isn't transferable between different businesses.

About the Author

Marie-Pier Rochon has been writing since 2005. She has served as a writer at PlaceForPoeple and a newsletter writer for the Creative Sydney festival. Previously, Rochon also worked as a communications adviser for various Canadian federal agencies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in organizational communications from the University of Ottawa.

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