Form G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, is designed to allow a lawyer or accredited representative of a religious, charitable, social service or similar organization to act on your behalf to handle immigration-related affairs including petitions, appeals, applications and so on. For obvious reasons, having an experienced immigration professional handle the intricacies of your case can alleviate stress and also streamlines the entire process. In this post we will discuss exactly how to file Form G-28, situations it is useful and other important details.
When You Should Sign Form G-28
If you intend to handle your immigration case by yourself and without the assistance of an attorney or representative, you do not need to sign Form G-28. On the other hand, if you do elect to hire a lawyer or select an accredited representative or law student, they will ask you to sign this form to handle matters related to your case on your behalf. Without it, they cannot communicate with USCIS regarding the facts of your case. Signing the form authorizes a lawyer or representative to send and receive immigration documents pertaining to your case to immigration agencies. For every immigration application, a separate G-28 must be filed.
In order to make someone your representative they must be accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If you are working with a law student or graduated (under the supervision of a lawyer or accredited representative) they are required to fill out Section 2 of Form G-28 and sign it in Part 5, numbers 2.a and 2.b. Be aware that if you do decide to have a law student or law graduate act as your representative, the Department of Homeland Security may require the supervising attorney or accredited representative to accompany them for any in-person appearances.
How Much Does It Cost?
There is no USCIS filing fee for Form G28 but your attorney or accredited legal representative may charge a fee for their time or services.
Steps for Filling Out Form G28
All forms should be completed in black ink and all signatures must be original. The attorney or accredited representative should fill out Form G-28. A brief outline of the G28 instructions are below. It is important to look at a detailed explanation of each section. Make sure to use the newer version of form G-28 dated 9/17/18.
*If you are an attorney or accredited representative appearing in person at a DHS office for a limited purpose, such as appearing for an interview, and at the request of an attorney or accredited representative who previously filed Form G-28 in the same case, you must complete and submit Form G-28 in person at a DHS office.
Part 1: Information About Attorney or Accredit Representative
If the attorney or accredited representative has been issued a USCIS Online account number in the past, they should fill it in on line 1. The USCIS online account number is not the same as an Alien Registration number. Following that question, fill in the first, last and middle name of the attorney or accredited representative, as well as their address, and contact information (phone number, email, fax).
Part 2: Eligibility Information for Attorney or Accredited Representative
Since the attorney or accredited representative will be filling out this form, they need to select if they are licensed attorney in good standing with the bar and include their licensing authority number if they are. Otherwise, they should check that they are an accredited representative or law student/law graduate working under direct supervision of an attorney or accredited representative.
Part 3: Notice of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative
Only one box should be selected in this section depending on which Department of Homeland Security agency the case is pending. You can select either U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). If you select USCIS, list the form number filed along with Form G-28 or the specific matter which the appearance is entered. If you check ICE or CBP, list the specific matter which the appearance is entered and receipt number (if any). Next in Part 3, provide the information about the client (applicant, petitioner, requestor, beneficiary or derivative, respondent, or authorized signatory. Fill in their first, last, and middle name, title of authorized signatory for entity, client’s USCIS online account number (if any), alien registration number (if any), contact information (phone number, email, mailing address).
Part 4: Client’s Consent to Representation and Signature
By signing this form, the client is consenting to the representation and release of information from immigration agencies to the attorney or accredited representative. If the client would like USCIS notices sent to both them and their attorney/accredited representative select all applicable boxes in 1.a – 1.c. Under that in 2.a. the client needs to sign and date the form.
Part 5: Signature of Attorney or Accredited Representative
In this section the attorney or accredited representative will need to sign and date the form.
Part 6: Additional Information
This section is provided for any additional information you did not have room for in a prior section.
Print and save a copy of this completed forms for your records.
Note About Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Requests
You may not use this form to request records under the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act, Title 5 U.S.C. sections 552 and 552a. You may find the procedures for requesting such records in 6 CFR 5 and at www.uscis.gov.
Benefits of Filing Form G28
One of the main benefits of Form G28 is that it allows an attorney or accredited legal representative to handle your immigration affairs on your behalf. If you have a limited understanding of English, are traveling a lot and not able to keep up with mail or just feel more comfortable with a professional streamlining your immigration case, then it is a good idea to sign this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a G28?
Form G28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative, is a form which permits lawyer or accredited representative of a religious, charitable, social service or similar organization to act on your behalf to handle immigration-related affairs.
Who should file form G-28?
If you are a foreign national and want to have a lawyer or legal representative act on your behalf for immigration matters, including things like removal proceedings, the lawyer you hire should submit form G-28 with your signature on it for every immigration related petition/application/appeal.
Which version is the correct form?
In the past USCIS had an older version of the form. That changed when they released the newer version. The newest version is dated 9/17/18. USCIS has noted on their website that you can continue using the 5/23/18 edition despite the expiration date.
How much does it cost?
There is no USCIS fee for Form G-28 however the attorney or legal representative overseeing your case may charge a fee for appearances and other services.
What should I do if I have a new lawyer now?
If your attorney or accredited representative no longer represents you they must submit a request to the Department of Homeland Security.
How many times do I need to submit it?
You will need to file a separate Form G-28 for every immigration application you submit.
How do I withdraw from G-28?
If you need to withdraw from G 28 form you must send USCIS a letter stating you want to withdraw the representation and move forward with your case without their representation. From that point, USCIS will only send your case information and communicate with you.
What happens if G-28 is rejected?
If your immigration form g 28 was not accepted, you will receive a non-acceptance notice from USCIS. Your attorney can refile the G-28 form until it is accepted. Make sure it is signed by both you and your legal representative and that all the information is correct or it will be rejected.
What if I have a foreign attorney?
If your attorney is not licensed to practice law in the U.S. you should file Form G-281, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney In Matters Outside the Geographical Confines of the United States. Note that foreign attorneys can only represent individuals in affairs filed and adjudicated in Department of Homeland Security offices outside of the U.S. and DHS has discretion to allow this representation.
Are Form E-28 and G-28 the same thing?
No, these forms are not the same. Form E-28 is a Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Immigration Court.
Do I need to submit anything else if my Form G-28 is for employment benefits?
Yes, you should also submit an employment authorization application at the same time.