8 CFR § 1292.12 - Accreditation of representatives.

§ 1292.12 Accreditation of representatives.

(a) In general. Only recognized organizations, or organizations simultaneously applying for recognition, may request accreditation of individuals. The Assistant Director for Policy (or the Assistant Director for Policy's delegate), in the exercise of discretion, may approve accreditation of an eligible individual as a representative of a recognized organization for either full or partial accreditation. An individual who receives full accreditation may represent clients before the Immigration Courts, the Board, and DHS. An individual who receives partial accreditation may represent clients only before DHS. In the request for accreditation, the organization must specify whether it seeks full or partial accreditation and establish eligibility for accreditation for the individual. To establish eligibility for accreditation, an organization must demonstrate that the individual for whom the organization seeks accreditation:

(1) Has the character and fitness to represent clients before the Immigration Courts and the Board, or DHS, or before all three authorities. Character and fitness includes, but is not limited to, an examination of factors such as: Criminal background; prior acts involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; past history of neglecting professional, financial, or legal obligations; and current immigration status that presents an actual or perceived conflict of interest;

(2) Is employed by or is a volunteer of the organization;

(3) Is not an attorney as defined in 8 CFR 1001.1(f);

(4) Has not resigned while a disciplinary investigation or proceeding is pending and is not subject to any order disbarring, suspending, enjoining, restraining, or otherwise restricting the individual in the practice of law or representation before a court or any administrative agency;

(5) Has not been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a serious crime, as defined in 8 CFR 1003.102(h), in any court of the United States, or of any State, possession, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia, or of a jurisdiction outside of the United States; and

(6) Possesses broad knowledge and adequate experience in immigration law and procedure. If an organization seeks full accreditation for an individual, it must establish that the individual also possesses skills essential for effective litigation.

(b) Request for accreditation. To establish that an individual satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the organization must submit a request for accreditation (Form EOIR–31A and supporting documents). The request for accreditation must be signed by the authorized officer and the individual to be accredited, both attesting that the individual satisfies these requirements.

(c) Proof of knowledge and experience. To establish that the individual satisfies the requirement in paragraph (a)(6) of this section, the organization must submit with its request for accreditation, at minimum: A description of the individual's qualifications, including education and immigration law experience; letters of recommendation from at least two persons familiar with the individual's qualifications; and documentation of all relevant, formal immigration-related training, including a course on the fundamentals of immigration law, procedure, and practice. An organization must also submit documentation that an individual for whom the organization seeks full accreditation has formal training, education, or experience related to trial and appellate advocacy.

(d) Validity period of accreditation. Accreditation is valid for a period of three years from the date of the Assistant Director for Policy's (or the Assistant Director for Policy's delegate's) approval of accreditation, unless the organization's recognition or the representative's accreditation is terminated pursuant to § 1292.17 or the organization or the representative is subject to disciplinary sanctions (termination, revocation, suspension, or disbarment) under 8 CFR 1003.101 et seq.

(e) Change in accreditation. An organization may request to change the accreditation of a representative from partial to full accreditation at any time during the validity period of accreditation or at renewal. Such a request will be treated as a new, initial request for full accreditation and must comply with this section.

[81 FR 92367, Dec. 19, 2016, as amended at 84 FR 44542, Aug. 26, 2019]