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Free Immigration Law Accreditation Training for Not-For-Profit Immigrant Services Providers

Newcomers are often targets of unscrupulous and unqualified individuals who promise assistance with naturalization and other immigration issues, but ultimately deliver nothing and commit fraud.

To better protect immigrants from these scammers, we must expand the ability of trusted community-based not-for-profit organizations to help New Americans navigate the naturalization and other immigration-related processes. To do this, the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) offers free 40-hour training courses to help not-for-profit organizations and non-attorneys obtain recognition and accreditation by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The New York Immigration Coalition conducts the training in partnership with ONA.

Only duly-licensed attorneys or BIA-accredited representatives may assist individuals in immigration proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s immigration courts and Board of Immigration Appeals, or before the Department of Homeland Security. Training is a requirement of the BIA accreditation process.

BIA Accreditation allows non-attorney staff of recognized agencies to represent individuals before U.S. immigration authorities. By increasing the availability of BIA-accredited organizations, the State is helping dramatically increasing the number of local community organizations who can provide this assistance to our state’s New Americans.