No prior legal knowledge or experience are required for the following volunteer positions:
- Volunteers working in the following positions must not present themselves as experts in immigration law or provide immigration advice of any kind. Unauthorized practice of law is a crime.
- Training for volunteers is provided by local Immigrant Hope centers as needed.
- Click here for a list of volunteer positions available at Immigrant Hope centers.
Caseworkers work hands-on with clients throughout their immigration case. Caseworkers do not give legal advice, but they do interview clients, prepare summaries and case notes, fill out forms, and prepare application packets for mailing to the government under the supervision of government-authorized legal staff. Caseworkers should have an eye for detail and good people skills. No prior experience or knowledge required. Training for Caseworkers is provided as needed by local Immigrant Hope centers.
Office workers assist the legal staff at Immigrant Hope centers by performing administrative tasks. This could include answering phones, contacting clients, sorting mail, filing paperwork and case files, entering data into the case management or accounting programs, and preparing applications for mailing. Training for Office workers is provided as needed by local Immigrant Hope centers.
Interpreters provide in-person translation between clients and Immigrant Hope staff who are not proficient in a common language. Interpreters do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience with immigration, but they must be able to accurately translate legal terms and concepts. Interpreters must be proficient in both the language spoken by the client and the language spoken by the Immigrant Hope staff member (usually English). Training for Interpreters is provided as needed by local Immigrant Hope centers.
Hospitality workers are responsible for creating a welcoming environment at an Immigrant Hope center. This may include directing clients to check-in or their appointment room, providing snacks and drinks for the waiting room, and conversing with clients who are waiting for appointments. Hospitality workers are not involved in any legal or technical work. A love for people is a must.
Translators translate documents, such as birth certificates and passports, into English for submission with immigration applications. Translators must certify that they are competent in both English and the document’s language of origin and that the translation is accurate and complete. Document translation can be completed on-site or remotely.
Experienced immigration legal workers (non-attorneys):
Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accredited Representative
BIA Accredited Representatives advise and represent Immigrant Hope clients in immigration matters and supervise Caseworkers in the completion of any necessary forms and other paperwork. Immigration law allows non-attorneys to give legal advice and represent clients if they meet the following requirements:
- Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and experience in immigration law. We recommend about 40 hours of classwork and about 100 hours of hands-on experience.
- Apply for Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) Accreditation through a BIA Recognized non-profit agency (such as an Immigrant Hope center).
- Practice only at agencies through which they have applied for BIA Accreditation.
If you have the necessary knowledge and experience, you can become a BIA Accredited Representative at an Immigrant Hope center.
If you would like to gain the necessary knowledge and experience, you can attend IMMIGRANT PATHWAY Institute and/or volunteer as a Caseworker in an Immigrant Hope center.