Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA)

EIN: 83-3874634

Mission Statement

RILA supports immigrants in our community by providing excellent, pro bono immigration legal assistance to those who are most vulnerable and who have the fewest resources: asylum seekers and immigrant children.

Program Summary

Restoration Immigration Legal Aid (RILA) supports immigrants in our community by providing excellent pro bono legal assistance to those who are most vulnerable and have the fewest resources.  Focusing on asylum law and procedure, RILA comes alongside asylum-seekers, all of whom have fled life-threatening situations in their countries of origin, to guide them through the application process for asylum and represent them in immigration court. RILA also represents children and youth who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by a parent, petitioning for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Over the last two years, RILA has assisted Afghan refugees in applying for asylum and helping reunite families.

Impact Statement

RILA staff members offer excellent legal representation and advocacy to immigrants in our communities for whom such services would otherwise be out of reach. We currently have over 800 clients that we serve in Arlington and the greater Northern Virginia/DC area.

RILA has demonstrated success in achieving significant, life-changing results for our clients with a 77% success rate for securing grants of asylum or some other type of humanitarian legal status for our clients. We have also obtained more than 600 work permits for clients and successfully obtained approval in 99% of our SIJS cases for children and teens who were abused or abandoned by a parent.

What ways can the public get involved?

 Volunteer at a bi-monthly clinic:

  • Bring dinner
  • Serve as a note taker
  • Assist in interpreting
  • Interview asylum seekers

Attorneys can write legal briefs or represent clients at the asylum office or in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. 

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

  • $5336 funds a defensive asylum case before Immigration Court.
  • $4285 funds an affirmative asylum case before USCIS.
  • $1000 helps RILA petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for an abused or abandoned immigrant child.
  • $535 helps an immigrant seeking refuge in the US file an initial Application for Asylum.
  • $333 covers the cost of applying for Legal Permanent Residency.
  • $75 allows RILA to help a client apply for an initial work permit. Some private firms charge up to $375 for this service.
  • $25-50 pays for an initial consultation to determine eligibility for legal status.

Information provided January 2024