What Is Form G-28: Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative

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Legal form G28: Notice of Entry of Appearance

Navigating the immigration legal system can be difficult, with numerous pitfalls for the unwary. An attorney or other legal representative can make all the difference. For a legal representative to appear in an immigration matter, they will need to file Form G-28, the “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.”

Here we explore some of the basics of Form G-28 in immigration proceedings, including its purpose, benefits, and common errors to avoid.

Find the form here: Form G-28 – Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative

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Understanding Form G-28

Form G-28 is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) form issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The form allows an applicant for immigration benefits or relief to appoint a legal representative to appear on their behalf in immigration proceedings. The legal representative can be one of the following:

  • Attorney. An attorney specializing in immigration law is preferable.
  • Accredited representative. This is a non-attorney who is approved by the Board of Immigration Appeals to appear in immigration proceedings. A fully accredited representative can appear before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the immigration courts, or the DHS. A partially accredited representative can only appear before DHS. The representative must be an employee or volunteer of an accredited organization, which is generally a non-profit religious, charitable, or social service organization. 
  • Law student or law graduate. The student or graduate must be working under the direct supervision of an attorney or accredited representative.

Who should use Form G-28? 

Any non-citizen who is either (1) submitting an immigration-related application, like a green card application, or (2) involved in removal proceedings, and wants to hire a representative, should submit Form G-28. 

The form must be signed by both the applicant and their representative. It enables the representative to access the applicant’s U.S. immigration file and send and receive correspondence from U.S. immigration authorities on the applicant’s behalf.

How to complete Form G-28

This form will generally be completed by the legal representative and contains the following sections.

Information about the legal representative

This section, entitled “Part 1: Information About Attorney or Accredited Representative”, is where the representative includes their name, address, and contact information. They must also include their USCIS online account number.

Eligibility information for the representative

Part 2 is entitled “Eligibility Information for Attorney or Accredited Representative.” This section is where the representative indicates whether they are an attorney, accredited representative, or law student/graduate supervised by an attorney or accredited representative. 

An attorney must indicate the jurisdiction where they are licensed and their bar number. In addition, they must disclose whether they are subject to any suspension, disbarment, or other restriction on their ability to practice law. If the attorney is subject to such an order, they must provide an explanation in “Section 6: Additional Information.”

In the case of a law student or law graduate, their supervising attorney or accredited representative is the one whose information appears in Part 1. This section will include the name of the law student or graduate, and they will also sign the form in Part 5.

Notice of appearance

Part 3 is entitled “Notice of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.” In this section, the representative indicates the DHS agency handling the immigration matter: 

(1) USCIS, 

(2) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or 

(3) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

The specific matter in which appearance is entered must be listed as well. Finally, the client’s name, address, and contact information must be included, along with their USCIS online account number and their alien registration number.

Client’s consent to representation

In Part 4, “Client’s Consent to Representation and Signature,” the client’s signature serves as the client’s consent to representation by the designated representative. Here the client can also check a box indicating if they want original notices sent by USCIS to the legal representative instead of the client. In addition, the client can indicate that they want secure identity documents, such as resident cards, sent to their legal representative.

The form must be signed in Part 5 by the attorney or accredited representative, as well as the law student or graduate (if applicable). There is no filing fee for Form G-28.

Benefits of filing Form G-28

Legal representation is often critical in immigration proceedings. This is obviously true for removal or deportation proceedings, especially where there is some difficulty with the client’s background, such as a criminal record or prior immigration violation. The representative can also ensure all the submitted forms are complete, accurate, and mistake-free, which will streamline the application process.

It is also beneficial for a client to have their legal representative receive correspondence, since they will likely have a stable address and systems in place to track case information. Even if the client is also receiving correspondence, it is invaluable to have their attorney or accredited representative acting as a backup.

Common mistakes to avoid

The following are some of the most common mistakes with Form G-28:

  • Incomplete or inaccurate information. Any mistakes on this form can be time-consuming and expensive to fix, while an error-free Form G-28 will expedite your application process.
  • Submitting an outdated version of Form G-28. Be sure to visit the USCIS website for the most up-to-date version of the form, since the U.S. government will not process outdated forms.
  • Failure to submit employment authorization for employment-related matters. An employment authorization document (EAD), commonly known as a work permit, must be submitted for any employment-related immigration case.
  • Confusion with Form E-28. Form E-28 is for appearing in immigration court, so do not confuse it with Form G-28.

Immigration attorneys and accredited representatives must know Form G-28 well

For immigration attorneys, accredited representatives, or any law students or graduates appearing under their supervision, Form G-28 is a critical document. While the form itself is fairly straightforward, small mistakes can throw a monkey wrench in even the simplest of immigration proceedings. 

Following the guidelines above can help you ensure your appearance proceeds with smooth sailing. Accordingly, ensure you understand Form G-28 well as a precursor to providing top-notch representation to your immigration clients.

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice.

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