[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 93 (Tuesday, May 14, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28124-28125]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11426]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Executive Office for Immigration Review

8 CFR Part 1292

[Docket No. EOIR 138]
RIN 1125-AA39


Registry for Attorneys and Representatives

AGENCY: Executive Office for Immigration Review, Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of implementation of registration requirement.

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SUMMARY: The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) has 
established a mandatory electronic registry for attorneys and 
accredited representatives who practice before EOIR's immigration 
courts and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board). This notice 
provides additional instructions regarding the registration process.

DATES: Attorneys and accredited representatives will be able to 
register beginning on June 10, 2013. After December 10, 2013, attorneys 
and accredited representatives must be registered in order to practice 
before EOIR's immigration courts and the Board and may be subject to 
administrative suspension for failure to register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeff Rosenblum, General Counsel, 
Executive Office for Immigration Review, 5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 
2600, Falls Church, Virginia 22041, telephone (703) 305-0470 (not a 
toll-free call).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On April 1, 2013, the Department published in the Federal Register 
a final rule that establishes a mandatory electronic registry 
(eRegistry) for attorneys \1\ and accredited representatives \2\ who 
practice before EOIR's immigration courts and the Board.\3\ See 78 FR 
19400 (April 1, 2013). The final rule amends 8 CFR part 1292 by 
establishing a new paragraph in Sec.  1292.1(f) that provides for 
attorneys and accredited representatives to register electronically 
with EOIR in order to practice before its immigration courts and the 
Board.
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    \1\ For purposes of this notice, the term ``attorney'' refers to 
any individual meeting the definition of ``attorney'' in 8 CFR 
1001.1(f), except any attorney who represents the Federal Government 
before EOIR.
    \2\ An accredited representative is a non-attorney who is 
designated by a recognized organization and accredited by the Board 
pursuant to 8 CFR 1292.2(d) to represent individuals before the 
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or before both DHS and EOIR. 
All accredited representatives must be affiliated with an 
organization established in the United States that has received 
recognition by the Board pursuant to 8 CFR 1292.2(a). For purposes 
of this notice, the term ``accredited representative'' refers only 
to an accredited representative who is accredited to appear before 
both EOIR and DHS. See 8 CFR 1292.2(d).
    \3\ The electronic registration requirement does not apply to 
representatives who appear before EOIR's Office of the Chief 
Administrative Hearing Officer.
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    eRegistry is part of a long-term agency plan to create an 
electronic case access and filing system for the immigration courts and 
the Board. The eRegistry will individually and uniquely identify each 
registered attorney or accredited representative and associate the 
information provided during registration with that attorney or 
accredited representative. This will increase efficiency by reducing 
system errors in scheduling matters and providing improved notice to 
attorneys and accredited representatives. Further, registration will 
ultimately enable an electronic filing system that will reduce the time 
and expense presently incurred with paper filings.

II. Who Must Register

    All attorneys and accredited representatives who practice before 
EOIR's immigration courts or the Board must register with EOIR's 
eRegistry. See 8 CFR 1292.1(a)(1), (a)(4), (f). At this time, the 
electronic registration requirements apply only to attorneys and to 
accredited representatives who are authorized to appear before EOIR. 
(This includes attorneys and accredited representatives who appear 
before both EOIR and DHS, but the registration requirements only 
pertain to their practice before EOIR.) Accordingly, accredited 
representatives authorized to appear only before DHS, law students, law 
graduates, reputable individuals, or accredited foreign government 
officials will not be able to register at this time. Similarly, law 
firms and recognized organizations will not be able to register.

III. How To Register

    Registration is a two-step process, which consists of an online 
registration and an identity validation. Both steps must be completed 
in order for an attorney or accredited representative to be registered 
before EOIR.
    Attorneys and accredited representatives will begin the online 
registration process by selecting their relevant account type, creating 
an individual UserID and password, and providing answers to password-
related security questions.\4\ Thereafter, attorneys and accredited 
representatives will follow on-screen instructions to enter and submit 
the requested information. After registering, a registry applicant will 
need to appear at an immigration court location or the Board to present 
photo identification, so that EOIR can verify the applicant's identity. 
Once that step is completed, EOIR will notify the registrant that his 
or her account has been activated.
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    \4\ A registered attorney or accredited representative will be 
able to provide the answers to these questions in order to reset a 
forgotten password.
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    Attorneys will be required to provide the following information 
when registering: full name; date of birth; business address(es); 
business telephone number(s); email address(es)\5\; and bar admission 
information for all the jurisdictions in which they are licensed to 
practice, including those in which they are inactive. If they are 
licensed in a jurisdiction that does not provide bar numbers, they will 
not be required to submit a bar number for that jurisdiction. Attorneys 
may also enter the name of their business or law firm.
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    \5\ Registrants will be able to provide more than one email 
address, when appropriate, i.e., an email address for eRegistry 
account-related emails and an email address for case specific 
correspondence.
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    Accredited representatives will be required to provide the 
following information when registering: full name; date of birth; 
business address(es); business telephone number(s); email address(es); 
and name(s) of all the recognized organization(s) that have obtained 
accreditation for the representative to appear before EOIR.
    EOIR will process the submitted information and then communicate 
with the registry applicant via email. First, EOIR will send an email 
to the registry applicant with instructions for the identity validation 
process.\6\ After the

[[Page 28125]]

registry applicant successfully completes the identity validation 
process, EOIR will send an email notifying the registrant that it has 
activated his or her account and will assign an EOIR ID number. Each 
registrant will be required to include the EOIR ID number when filing a 
Form EOIR-27, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or 
Representative Before the Board of Immigration Appeals, or Form EOIR-
28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before 
the Immigration Court.
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    \6\ As indicated in the final rule, registry applicants will be 
able to appear at an immigration court or the Board's Clerk's Office 
to present specified photo identification, so that EOIR can verify 
the registrant's identity. In addition, EOIR anticipates that 
applicants may be able to present their identification at other 
locations where EOIR hearings are conducted, including those where 
hearings are conducted by video conference. Detailed information 
about the required identity validation process for eRegistry, 
including permissible forms of identification and locations where 
EOIR will validate identities, will be available on EOIR's Web site. 
The list of permissible forms of identification will also be 
available during the online registration process.
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IV. Failure To Register

    By December 10, 2013, all attorneys and accredited representatives 
authorized to appear before EOIR must be registered as a condition to 
practice before the immigration courts and the Board. If an attorney or 
accredited representative who has cases pending before EOIR fails to 
register by December 10, 2013, EOIR may administratively suspend that 
individual from practicing before EOIR. See 8 CFR 1292.1(f). An 
attorney or accredited representative subject to administrative 
suspension can resume practicing before EOIR upon completing the 
registration process. While administrative suspension, on its own, is 
not disciplinary in nature, an unregistered attorney or accredited 
representative's multiple attempts to appear before EOIR may result in 
disciplinary sanctions. Any individual who meets the definition of 
attorney in 8 CFR 1001.1(f) or the definition of representative in 8 
CFR 1001.1(j) is subject to disciplinary sanctions for misconduct, even 
if the individual is not registered. See 8 CFR 1003.101(b).

V. Voluntary Electronic Submission of Form EOIR-27 and Form EOIR-28

    Upon implementation of eRegistry, registered attorneys and 
accredited representatives will be able to use their stored eRegistry 
information to pre-populate and, on a voluntary basis, electronically 
file entry of appearance forms for certain designated proceedings 
before the immigration courts and the Board.\7\ Registered attorneys 
and accredited representatives who electronically file a Form EOIR-27 
or Form EOIR-28 will still be required to serve DHS with a printed copy 
of the completed Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28.
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    \7\ EOIR will not permit electronic filing of the Form EOIR-27 
and Form EOIR-28 in certain limited situations, including, but not 
limited to, bond redetermination requests made before the filing of 
a Notice to Appear with the immigration court, appeals of decisions 
involving fines and penalties, and appeals of decisions of 
adjudicating officials in practitioner disciplinary proceedings. A 
complete list of situations in which EOIR will not permit electronic 
filing of the Form EOIR-27 and Form EOIR-28 will be available on 
EOIR's Web site.
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    EOIR will continue to accept paper submissions of the Form EOIR-27 
and Form EOIR-28. At this time, immigration practitioners who are not 
required to register will not be able to file these forms 
electronically.

VI. Official Correspondence and Representative Change of Address

    EOIR will send all official correspondence to the representative's 
address included on the most recent Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 for 
each case. Representatives are under an obligation to notify the 
immigration court and the Board of any change in their current address 
or any change in affiliations with recognized organizations, including 
branch offices.
    Registrants may change their addresses electronically by completing 
a two-step process. First, registrants must log in to their eRegistry 
account and add the new address to their account profile. Second, 
registrants must electronically file a Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28 for 
each of their cases to which the newly-added address should be 
assigned. In such cases, registrants should check the ``new address'' 
box on the Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28. As with all submissions of the 
Form EOIR-27 or the Form EOIR-28, registrants are required to serve DHS 
with a printed copy of the completed Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28.
    Registrants should note that adding a new address to their 
eRegistry profiles will not serve to update their addresses with the 
immigration court or the Board unless and until the Form EOIR-27 or 
Form EOIR-28 has been filed in each of their cases with their updated 
address.
    In matters in which EOIR does not yet accept electronic filings of 
the Form EOIR-27 or Form EOIR-28, registrants will need to file paper 
versions of those forms with the immigration court or the Board to 
complete the address change.

VII. Responsibilities of Users

    Registered attorneys and accredited representatives will be 
responsible for all activity conducted under the attorney's or 
accredited representative's account. Once eRegistry is operational, 
registered attorneys and accredited representatives should immediately 
contact EOIR if they think that their account has been compromised.

VIII. Effect of Disciplinary Orders on Registry

    Individuals with law licenses are not permitted to register as 
attorneys if they are under any order suspending, enjoining, 
restraining, disbarring, or otherwise restricting them in the practice 
of law, or are otherwise not a member in good standing of the bar. Such 
individuals do not meet the definition of ``attorney'' under 8 CFR 
1001.1(f).
    EOIR will deactivate the EOIR ID of an attorney or accredited 
representative who has been disbarred or suspended pursuant to 8 CFR 
1003.101 et seq. unless and until the Board reinstates or otherwise 
permits the attorney or accredited representative to practice.

IX. Additional Information

    Additional information regarding eRegistry will be available on 
EOIR's Web site.

    Dated: May 7, 2013.
Juan P. Osuna,
Director.
[FR Doc. 2013-11426 Filed 5-13-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-30-P