You have the right to appeal an immigration judge’s decision if you do not agree with the outcome. Normally, the appeal must be filed and received by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), within 30 days from the date the final decision was issued by the immigration judge. When you file your initial notice of appeal, you may request an extension of time to prepare a brief and evidence in support of your argument for appeal.
If you decide that you want to appeal your case, you must have a valid reason for that appeal. The BIA reviews the immigration judge’s decision based on the following:
- Questions of fact – the BIA looks to see if the immigration judge was clearly erroneous in his findings of fact, and/or credibility findings
- Questions of law – the BIA reviews questions of law, discretion, judgment, and other issues as if they are being considered for the first time
If you are able to formulate a valid argument based on the above, then you may have grounds for an appeal, in which case you should file right away. You must stay in the U.S. while your appeal is pending. If you leave the U.S. before a decision is made, you are considered to have abandoned your appeal.
The deadlines for filing an appeal are strict, and there is little leeway for late appeals. Because so much is at stake at this point in your case, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney who can help you determine if you have valid grounds for an appeal and can help you navigate the tricky process of filing on time and meeting all required deadlines.
For more information regarding immigration appeals, or other complex immigration court matters, please contact our Deportation Defense Attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC at (510) 491-0291.