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Department of Justice (DOJ) Recognition and Accreditation

The time is now to obtain DOJ Recognition and Accreditation! Help protect our communities from unscrupulous legal service providers.  Receiving the wrong advice on immigration laws can have dramatic results.  Families and individuals have lost thoussands 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, and prepare for future legalization programs, by applying for DOJ Recognition and Accreditation NOW!

What is DOJ Recognition and Accreditation?
The Office of Legal Access Programs within the Department of Justice can grant authorization to certain non-lawyers to represent clients before US 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 be a legitimate alternative to these crooks.

Most importantly, obtaining Recognition and Accreditation will help you avoid unauthorized practice of law, which is a crime in New York State.

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. That includes helping them choose which form to prepare, helping them fill out the form, and helping them 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. You can find more information by clicking here, including links to our  R&A Trainings.

Can I Wait to Get DOJ Recognition/Accreditation?
In order to be prepared to quickly meet the needs of the community in the event of legalization, or a large-scale immigration program such as DACA, you should apply to obtain recognition and accreditation now.  Current USCIS grants, which have very short application periods, already require DOJ Recognition and Accreditation in order to be eligible.

For any questions about DOJ Recognition and Accreditation, please feel free to reach out to Hallam Tuck at htuck@nyic.org

 

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