Immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law in the United States, which is why some people opt to get help from a lawyer or qualified legal representative to take the stress out of their hands.

Filing a Form G-28 enables you to appoint a legal professional who can act on your behalf to help accelerate immigration processes, prevent actions that may jeopardize your case, and improve the chances that your case will succeed.

What is a Form G-28?

Form G-28 is a U.S. immigration form issued by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicating that an applicant has selected a legal representative to handle applications, petitions, and appeals related to immigration. This representative must be accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

Both the applicant and the legal representative should sign Form G-28, with the legal representative taking responsibility for filing the form with the USCIS.

What is the purpose of Form G-28? 

Form G-28 is intended for applicants who wish to grant an attorney or other legal representative access to their immigration files in order to handle immigration-related transactions with the USCIS on their behalf.

By granting the legal representative access to your documents, your attorney can also access your application data and, as a result, provide more tailored legal advice.

What are the benefits of a Form G-28? 

Appointing an attorney or another legal representative to handle your correspondence with the USCIS about immigration-related matters can be helpful for several reasons. 

Based on their expertise, an attorney is likely to have experience navigating cases similar to yours and can advise accordingly, particularly in cases where there is a request for evidence. This may help facilitate better management of cases and allow the applicant to meet deadlines set by the USCIS more easily. Beyond their expertise, your representative may offer other practical benefits such as a stable mailing address to streamline your correspondence with USCIS. 

Should the USCIS require additional documentation, the attorney may be able to determine the reason behind this and provide what is requested. 

When should a Form G-28 be signed? 

A Form G-28 should be signed when an applicant and accredited legal representative have both agreed to work together on the applicant’s immigration case. Foreign nationals who do not plan to use a legal representative should not file a Form G-28.

How to complete a Form G-28

All requested information must be completed on Form G-28. Both the applicant and the legal representative must sign the form for it to be valid. All signatures must be original and cannot be scanned or photocopied; the form must be signed with a pen.

Where can a Form G-28 be filed? 

Once Form G-28 is completed and signed by both the foreign national and his or her legal representative, it must be filed with the USCIS. Other required documents pertaining to the application, appeal, or petition must also accompany Form G-28.

This step is typically handled by the legal representative. 

What expenses are associated with a Form G-28? 

There is no cost associated with filing Form G-28. Your legal representative may charge a fee for his or her consultation, court appearance, and other legal expenses while representing your immigration case before the USCIS. 

It is recommended that foreign nationals consult with the appointed legal representative regarding an estimate of potential expenses prior to taking action.

Additional information about Form G-28

Here are some helpful tips to consider when you are completing Form G-28: 

  • In May 2015, the USCIS revised Form G-28. Make sure that your form is the revised version or it may not be accepted. 
  • For immigration cases related to employment, you will be required to submit an application for an Employment Authorization Document  (I-765 Form) with your Form G-28. 
  • Do not mix up Form G-28 with Form E-28 as they are different. Form E-28 is intended for foreign nationals who will be appearing in an immigration court. 
  • When submitting multiple applications for immigration, you will need to send a separate G-28 form to USCIS for each application. 
  • Should your attorney or legal representative stop representing you, he or she must submit a written request to the Department of Homeland Security. 
  • Information should be accurately and clearly written. 
  • Use black ink; do not use any correction fluid, highlighters, or markers. 
  • Do not blot or grey out any portion of the form. 
  • The first and last name of the legal representative should be correct and legible. 
  • Use the name that appears in your other immigration form as it appears.
  • Should the legal representative need to change his or her address, he or she must fill out and file a change of address form with the USCIS. 

The takeaway

Opting to use an accredited legal representative to represent you on immigration-related matters may help your case move faster so you can begin planning your life in the U.S.

One of the key aspects you may want to start considering is the management of your finances. For example, even the most basic tasks in the U.S. such as getting a credit card, leasing an apartment, and getting a cell phone plan or student loan all require an American credit score.

Nova Credit has built technology to translate credit data from countries like Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, the UK and more into a U.S.-equivalent score that newcomers can elect to share with U.S. companies when they apply for credit products here. Learn more here.

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