An individual is “accredited” when the Department of Justice (DOJ) gives permission to that individual, who is a specially qualified non-lawyer, to represent immigrants on behalf of a recognized organization. A non-profit organization in the United States is “recognized” when the DOJ gives that organization permission to practice immigration law before either DHS and/or EOIR, which includes the immigration courts and the DOJ. By regulation, a non-profit organization established in the United States that has been approved for recognition is called a recognized organization. The DOJ will accredit non-lawyers only when they work for a recognized organization and will never accredit a non-lawyer who tries to practice immigration law on his or her own.
The names of accredited representatives and DOJ recognized organizations are listed on the DOJ’s rosters which shows the name of the representative’s organization, the date accreditation was approved, and whether the representative has partial (DHS only) or full (DHS and immigration court) accreditation. The rosters also show when a representative’s accreditation will expire. The DOJ does not issue ID cards to accredited representatives. Click here to see the current BIA roster.
Currently InStepp provides assistance with a specialized list of services. Please refer to our list of services or call the InStepp office to see if we can assist you with the immigration benefit you are seeking.
InStepp offers immigration legal services to members of the immigrant community who cannot afford the services of an immigration legal attorney and to low-income individuals.
We define “low-income” according to the Poverty Guidelines that are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services each year. For 2019, a family of four making less than $32,187 would be considered “low-income” and therefore eligible to receive services from our agency. However, no one will be denied services by our organization due to an inability to pay. Our agency fees will be 100% waived for individuals who can verify that their household income is below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines as determined by the number of persons in the family household.
InStepp’s fees are required to be affordable and low-cost. Our fees are lower than the fees charged by most licensed immigration attorneys. Please call the InStepp office at 919.680.800 for information about the costs of specific immigration services.
USCIS case processing times depend on the type of application filed, which office is handling your case and the date your application was filed. USCIS generally processes cases in the order in which they receive them. You can get an estimate of how long each office is taking to process different types of cases by clicking here.
No, we do not provide assistance in these areas. We are happy, however, to refer you to a knowledgeable immigration attorney who understands and is skilled in all aspects of immigration law.