Appealing an Immigration Decision to the BIA

Appealing an Immigration Decision to the BIA

It is tempting to feel deflated after an immigration judge denies your case. You may have had to walk out of a merits hearing empty-handed, but we suggest you march into our office to see if you have a case for appeal. Yes, did you know that you can appeal a judge’s decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)?

Mistakes are made in the legal system all the time. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. we are experienced in appeals cases and are ready to hear the details of your potential appeal. For example, if you feel that you were mischaracterized by the judge and it was the “reason” you were denied entry, you may have a case for appeal.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) decides immigration cases, and if you wish to appeal a decision, you will need an immigration lawyer who specializes in these cases to help you file that with the BIA. Let’s take a look at the appeals process below.

The Immigration Appeals Process:

  • Filing - To appeal your case, it will be done through the mail through the BIA in Falls Church, Virginia. Your case is not “heard” again in person but rather through paperwork and transcripts that you and your immigration attorney submit via the mail.
  • Paperwork and Fees - Appeals must adhere to the paperwork process by using specific forms that your attorney can help you with. This paperwork can accompany what is called a “brief” which gives you and your attorney a chance to produce an argument for approval and site the laws that support your circumstances. Not all cases require this paperwork process, especially those involving asylum, so please ask us about your situation so we can direct you.

The fees associated with this appeals process are $110 US to be submitted with your paperwork. If you cannot afford this fee, a waiver is available. Again, not all cases require this part of the process, and an immigration attorney can help you through those requirements.

  • Timeframe - Your appeal has to reach the BIA office within 30-days of the judge's denial decision. Therefore, it is crucial that you act quickly to ensure all the proper paperwork is submitted in time for your case to be valid with the BIA.
  • Receipt of Appeal by the BIA - The board will review your documents and allow the opposing counsel a 30-day period to respond to your appeal. This process can go back and forth depending on the circumstances and can take months.
  • While You Wait - You are permitted to stay in the United States while you await a decision by the BIA. This is also the case if the immigration judge has ordered your deportation. If you leave the United States, your appeal will be cancelled.

As you can see, the appeals process can take time and get complicated depending on the back and forth between your attorney and the other counsel. Also important to note, the U.S. government can appeal your case even if you want it to end with your immigration judge’s decision. For more information, contact our immigration attorneys at 510-488-1020 to see how we can help you today!

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