Yes. As explained above, someone who is not an authorized immigration service provider may provide limited assistance, such as reading a form or translating and writing down the information you provide. EOIR provides a list of lawyers in your state who offer immigration services for free or at low cost. They also provide a list of accredited representatives and recognized organizations. The American Bar Association also provides information about seeking legal services in your state. If you are unsure which immigration benefit to apply for or which USCIS forms to submit, you may need immigration legal advice from an authorized service provider. Only authorized immigration service providers can help you beyond the basic preparation or translation of forms. A DOJ-accredited representative who works for a DOJ-recognized organization can represent you before USCIS. Some accredited representatives may also represent you before the Executive Board for immigration review. Representatives accredited by the DOJ are not lawyers, but they can give you legal advice on immigration. Family reunification has long played a central role in the U.S. immigration system, more so than in other major immigration countries.

(Family migration accounts for about 40% of total permanent immigration to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries). Although the proportion varies from year to year, about two-thirds of legal immigration to the United States is based on family ties, while the rest is divided between humanitarian and employment-based immigration and those arriving through the green card lottery (also known as a diversity visa). For preference categories capped in family and employment flows, U.S. law sets a limit on the number of immigrants from a particular country who can receive green cards in a given year. Under the country-specific ceiling set by the Immigration Act 1990, no country may obtain more than 7 per cent of the total number of preferential employment-based, family-sponsored visas in a given year. There are no country restrictions on unlimited categories, such as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Unauthorized practitioners often target immigrant communities with false messages that they can represent immigrants in legal immigration cases. In reality, these immigration consultants or notaries do not have the credentials and the power to prepare immigration documents and represent non-citizens in immigration proceedings. The Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) define the practice of immigration law in a way that includes the selection and preparation of forms, as well as guidance on immigration status issues, such as how to answer questions about immigration forms and the options a non-citizen might have. 8 C.F.R. §§ 1.1(i), 1001.1(i).

Only recognized and accredited lawyers and representatives of non-lawyers can give advice on immigration law. 8 C.F.R. §§ 292.1 (DHS) & 1292.1 (EOIR). As a result, unauthorized immigration law practitioners lack not only the skills, resources, training, and knowledge to assist immigrants in immigration law matters before USCIS and immigration courts, but also credentials and powers. Anyone is allowed to give you this kind of limited help and may charge a fee for it. This person should only charge you a small fee and not claim to have any special knowledge of immigration law and procedure. You can submit USCIS forms yourself, but many people opt for help. Someone who is not an authorized immigration service provider can only: WARNING: „notaries“, notaries, immigration consultants and businesses cannot give you legal advice on immigration unless they are authorized service providers. In many other countries, the word „notario“ means that the person is a powerful lawyer, but this is not the case in the United States. If you need help with immigration matters, be very careful before paying money to someone who is neither an EOIR-accredited lawyer nor representative of an EOIR-approved organization.

Founded in 1988, CLINIC is a non-profit organization that promotes the dignity and rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs. CLINIC has more than 330 subsidiaries in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, providing direct legal services to the immigrant community. CLINIC affiliates see first-hand the damage that the „notario“ scam causes to immigrant communities, as victims often turn to low-cost immigration assistance from nonprofits to repair the damage. A DOJ-accredited attorney or representative can represent you before USCIS. Your legal representative must file Form G-28, Notice of Registration to Appear as a Lawyer or Accredited Representative, with the appropriate application, motion or objection. USCIS will send information about your case to your legal representative if you have one. While about 80% of green cards are issued each year through family and work pathways, the U.S. immigration system has a few other channels for entry into permanent residence. CLINIC and AILA sincerely hope that this resource will be useful and will help lawyers, accredited and recognized representatives and community organizations that are trying to defend the rights of vulnerable non-citizens and remedy fraud committed by unauthorized immigration law practitioners. To report corrections or updates to this resource, please email Michelle N. Mendez at

The final public fees rule is in effect until the litigation continues. The rule significantly expands the definition of „dependence“ on government support for legal immigrants. November 6, 2020 Founded in 1992, the Immigrant Policy Project explores the role of state and local governments in the development and implementation of immigration policies. Once immigrants and refugees have entered the United States, state and local governments are responsible for a range of policies that affect them, from education to law enforcement, employment to health and social services. The draft immigration policy provides unbiased research, analysis, and technical support to state legislators and legislators across the country on federal and state immigration laws and promising practices for immigrant integration. Immigration has become the focus of political and public discussions on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere in the world. Yet basic facts about immigration and immigrants that are accurate and come from credible sources can be hard to find.