Legal Services

PICC engages in advocacy and education on behalf of immigrant communities, but we do not provide individual legal services.  If you are in need of individual assistance on an immigration related matter, please contact either a private attorney or one of the organizations on the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recognized list.

What is a BIA recognized organization?

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), is the highest administrative body that interprets and applies immigration law. The BIA recognizes certain organizations as having the appropriate qualifications to provide immigration legal services at a nominal fee. These organizations serve individuals with limited incomes. See below for a list of BIA accredited organizations in Pennsylvania.  Download the Department of Justice list of BIA recognized organizations listed by state.

What is an Accredited Representative?

An accredited representative is a non-attorney certified by the BIA to have the qualifications and authority to legally represent a client on immigration related matters. An accredited representative must be affiliated with a BIA recognized organization.

Finding a Private Attorney

You can search for a private immigration attorney from among the membership of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).  AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers, established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.  More resources are available on their website.

Important questions to ask

  • If working with an immigration lawyer, ask to see their current attorney license (bar card).
  • If working with an accredited representative, ask to see their BIA recognition.
  • Ask for a written contract covering all of the immigration services and costs.
  • Ask for receipts for every payment you make.
  • Ask for copies of all documents submitted and obtained for you.
  • If possible, do not hand over original documents.
  • Do not sign documents that you do not understand or are blank.
  • Do not sign documents that contain false information.

Board of Immigration Appeals
Recognized Organizations and Accredited Representatives

District 5 Pennsylvania, Delaware & West Virginia (as of January 2009)

Catholic Charities/Allentown
530 Union Boulevard
Allentown, PA 18109

 Catholic Charities/Reading
400 Madison Building
400 Madison Street, Ste. 100
Reading, PA 19601

Catholic Charities/Harrisburg
900 N. 17th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103

Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia
227 North 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Catholic Charities/Pittsburgh
Refugee Services Program
212 Nonth Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Catholic Social Services/Scranton
400 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503
Church World Service
308 East King Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

HIAS & Council Migration Services
2100 Arch Street, 3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Hispanic American Council
554 East 10th Street
Erie, PA 16503

International Institute of Erie
517 E. 26th Street
Erie, PA.


International Service Center, Inc.
21 South River Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Jewish Family & Children’s Service
5743 Bartlett Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217


Lutheran Children & Family Service
231 N. 63rd street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
215.747.7500 Ext.235

Lutheran Children & Family Service
123 E. Vine Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

Nationalities Service Center
1216 Arch Street, 4th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Nueva Esperanza, Inc.
4261 North 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140


Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center
50 Mt. Zion Road
York, PA 17402
PRIME – Ecumenical Commitment to Refugees
701 North Lime Street
Lancaster, PA 17602

PRIME – Ecumenical Commitment to Refugees
120 Owen Avenue
Lansdowne, PA 19050


Catholic Charities/Wilmington
2601 W. 4th Street
Wilmington, DE 19805
Service for Foreign Born
820 N. French Street, Room 650
Wilmington, DE 19801


Catholic Community Services
Office of Migration & Refugee Services
1033 Quarrier Street, Ste. 105
Charleston, WVA 25301

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