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. To download the Department of Justice list of BIA recognized organizations listed by state and city click here.
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)