On December 19, 2016, the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) published a new final rule titled “Recognition of Organizations and Accreditation of Non-Attorney Representatives” in the Federal Register [see 81 FR 92346]. The new rule, which takes effect on January 18, 2017, will amend regulations found in 8 C.F.R. 1001, 8 C.F.R. 1003, 8 C.F.R. 1103, and 8 C.F.R. 1212.
In a summary of the rule posted on the EOIR website, the EOIR states that “[t]he purpose of the rule is to promote the effective and efficient administration of justice before EOIR and DHS by increasing the availability of competent, non-lawyer representation for low-income and indigent persons.” The EOIR notes that the new rule will also clarify the recognition and accreditation application process, establish greater oversight and accountability for recognized organizations and accredited representatives, and update the disciplinary process to ensure that recognized organizations and accredited representatives “are subject to sanctions for conduct that violates the public interest.” Finally, the new rule will transfer management of the program from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to the Office of Legal Access Programs.