U.S. immigration and nationality law is governed by federal law: statutes from our U.S. Congress and regulations promulgated by Executive agencies such as the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State are the authorities under which visas are issued or denied. As a general matter, only attorneys qualified to practice by the bar of a U.S. state are eligible to advise on the law, prepare filings and represent individuals and businesses before the U.S. immigration agencies. Anyone who claims to be a U.S. immigration law adviser is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law unless they meet one of the criteria listed in the regulation in force on this issue, which you can find at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/8/292.1#.
8 CFR 292.1 - Representation of others.
§ 292.1 Representation of others.
(2)Law students and law graduates not yet admitted to the bar. A law student who is enrolled in an accredited U.S. law school, or a graduate of an accredited U.S. law school who is not yet admitted to the bar, provided that:
(i) He or she is appearing at the request of the person entitled to representation;
(ii) In the case of a law student, he or she has filed a statement that he or she is participating, under the direct supervision of a faculty member, licensed attorney, or accredited representative, in a legal aid program or clinic conducted by a law school or non-profit organization, and that he or she is appearing without direct or indirect remuneration from the alien he or she represents;
(iii) In the case of a law graduate, he or she has filed a statement that he or she is appearing under the supervision of a licensed attorney or accredited representative and that he or she is appearing without direct or indirect remuneration from the alien he or she represents; and
(iv) The law student's or law graduate's appearance is permitted by the DHS official before whom he or she wishes to appear. The DHS official may require that a law student be accompanied by the supervising faculty member, attorney, or accredited representative.
(3)Reputable individuals. Any reputable individual of good moral character, provided that:
(i) He is appearing on an individual case basis, at the request of the person entitled to representation;
(ii) He is appearing without direct or indirect renumeration and files a written declaration to that effect;
(iii) He has a pre-existing relationship or connection with the person entitled to representation (e.g., as a relative, neighbor, clergyman, business associate or personal friend), provided that such requirement may be waived, as a matter of administrative discretion, in cases where adequate representation would not otherwise be available; and
(iv) His or her appearance is permitted by the DHS official before whom he or she seeks to appear, provided that such permission will not be granted with respect to any individual who regularly engages in immigration and naturalization practice or preparation, or holds himself or herself out to the public as qualified to do so.
(5)Accredited officials. An accredited official, in the United States, of the government to which an alien owes allegiance, if the official appears solely in his official capacity and with the alien's consent.
(6)Attorneys outside the United States. An attorney, other than one described in 8 CFR 1.2, who is licensed to practice law and is in good standing in a court of general jurisdiction of the country in which he or she resides and who is engaged in such practice, may represent parties in matters before DHS, provided that he or she represents persons only in matters outside the geographical confines of the United States as defined in section 101(a)(38) of the Act, and that the DHS official before whom he or she wishes to appear allows such representation as a matter of discretion.
(b)Persons formerly authorized to practice. A person, other than a representative of an organization described in § 292.2 of this chapter, who on December 23, 1952, was authorized to practice before the Board and the Service may continue to act as a representative, subject to the provisions of § 292.3 of this chapter.
(d)Amicus curiae. The Board may grant permission to appear, on a case-by-case basis, as amicus curiae, to an attorney or to an organization represented by an attorney, if the public interest will be served thereby.
(e) Except as set forth in this section, no other person or persons shall represent others in any case.