Although there are a number of simple immigration processes you can handle by yourself, it may be detrimental to go through some more complex immigration legal processes on your own. When your case is complex — maybe you have a criminal record, a prior immigration violation, or a complicated backgrond — it is absolutely necessary to consult with a qualified lawyer. To include a lawyer on your immigration case, you’ll have use Form G-28. This article explains what the Form G-28 is and how it’s used, why you should file it, and how to file it.
Written by Jonathan Petts.
Updated October 9, 2022
What Is USCIS Form G-28?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues Form G-28 or “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.” All “G” immigration forms have administrative purposes. Form G-28, in particular, allows applicants to appoint a lawyer or other accredited representative to handle aspects of their immigration process.
Applying for immigration benefits such as a green card can be very stressful. Having an immigration attorney or other representative help can make the process easier. Your representative will be able to act on your behalf, such as for filing appeals or sending in additional documentation.
Who Can Serve as an Accredited Representative?
An accredited representative could include an immigration attorney, a law student or law graduate, or a member of a charitable organization. If you hire a lawyer, find one who specializes in immigration matters. Otherwise, your lawyer may not have the specialized knowledge they need to give you the best advice about your situation.
However, if you cannot afford an attorney and are using another representative, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has specific guidelines. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) must accredit this person through the Recognition and Accreditation (R&A) program. The board has an accreditation process to increase immigration legal representation for low-income people. These representatives can only provide these services through board-recognized organizations.
Why File Form G-28?
When applying for immigration benefits, keep in mind that an immigration attorney or accredited representative can help your case. A representative can help you avoid making mistakes on forms that can be expensive and time-consuming to fix. They can also help ensure your documents are complete and accurate, which will expedite your application. The representative can also help prepare you for the interview process.
If your situation is complex, an immigration lawyer can help protect your rights and defend you from deportation or removal proceedings. If something in your background could prevent you from getting a green card, receiving an attorney’s advice could be the difference between getting a green card or being denied for a green card.
Completing Form G-28
Form G-28 has six primary sections. Your representative will fill out this form, but they will need information about you in Part 3, and you will sign Part 4.
Form G-28: Part 1
Part 1 is titled “Information About Attorney or Accredited Representative.” In this section, your representative must provide their USCIS online account number. This number is not the same as an alien registration number or A-number. After that, your representative will give their personal information, including their full name, mailing address, and contact information.
Form G-28: Part 2
Part 2 is “Eligibility Information for Attorney or Accredited Representative.” In this section, your attorney or representative will need to indicate if they are a licensed attorney in one of the U.S. states, territories, commonwealths, or the District of Columbia. Your representative will give their licensing authority number, such as a bar number. Otherwise, they will need to show they are a law student or law graduate working under an attorney.
Form G-28: Part 3
Part 3 is “Notice of Appearance as Attorney or Accredited Representative.” They should indicate the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency that is involved with your case. For example, you could be dealing with USCIS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). For USCIS, you must indicate which form number your representative is handling. For ICE or CBP, indicate the specific appearance and receipt number, if applicable.
Next, they will enter information about you (the client, respondent, requestor, or applicant). This information includes your first, last, and middle names; USCIS online account number; alien registration number; and contact information.
Form G-28: Part 4
Part 4 is “Client’s Consent to Representation and Signature.” When you sign this form, you consent to representation and release of information from the immigration agencies to your representative. You can indicate if you want USCIS to send notices to both you and your representative by selecting Item Number 1.a. and Item Number 1.c.
You can also indicate if you want USCIS to send secure identity documents, such as permanent resident cards or travel documents, to your attorney. Keep in mind that you consent to your attorney accessing all of your immigration documents from USCIS, CBP, and ICE.
Form G-28: Parts 5 & 6
Part 5 is “Signature of Attorney or Accredited Representative.” Your attorney or representative will sign and date here.
Part 6 is “Additional Information.” You could give more information here if you did not have room in any previous sections.
Additional Considerations – Notice of Entry of Appearance
When filing Form G-28, you should keep these tips in mind:
There is no USCIS fee for Form G-28, but your attorney or representative may charge you a fee for certain services.
Form E-28 is entirely different from Form G-28. E-28 is for appearing in immigration court.
Make sure to use the most updated form version by visiting the USCIS website. Old editions have expiration dates, and the U.S. government will not process expired forms.
You can either fill in the form on your computer and print it out or complete it legibly in black ink.
Your attorney or representative must file Form G-28. You should only sign in the designated spaces.
For every immigration-related application, your representative should file a new Form G-28.
This form is not relevant to Freedom of Information requests. According to Form G-28's instructions provided by USCIS, “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.”
If your G-28 form relates to employment, you must also submit an employment authorization document.
If your attorney no longer plans to represent you, they need to submit a written request to the Department of Homeland Security.
If you want to withdraw from your G-28 form, you can send USCIS a letter. You will explain that you wish to remove representation and move forward without it. USCIS will then only send communication to you.
Applying for immigration benefits can be complicated, but help is available. If you are eligible, our free web app will walk you through the green card application process and help you prepare and file your application with the U.S. government. If our app isn’t a good fit, we may be able to refer you to an experienced immigration attorney to help. Click "Get Started" to see how we can help make your American dream come true!