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Phoenix Immigration Appeal Attorneys

Appealing Your Case to the Board of Immigration Appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is located in the Executive Office of Immigration Review at Falls Church, Virginia. It is the “highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws.”

Although the BIA hears oral arguments on rare occasions, its 15 board members are mainly responsible for reviewing the decisions of lower courts that are on appeal. This includes decisions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigration court judges, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bureau offices.

The BIA hears a variety of cases, including those pertaining to:

  • Orders of removal/deportation
  • Applications for relief from removal/deportation
  • Alien exclusion from legal entry into the United States
  • Motions to reopen or reconsider proceedings
  • Petition denials by the USCIS
  • Classification of an alien for visa purposes

If you are interested in learning more about immigration appeals and whether this may apply to your case, now is the time to talk to a Phoenix immigration lawyer at Maria Jones Law Firm. We are experienced and actually care about our clients and their futures. With advanced technology and the know-how to effectively file appeals for a wide range of immigration issues, we can deliver the quality legal representation you need.

Call (602) 603-4032 today for a free, confidential review of your case by our skilled attorneys.

Submitting an Appeal to the BIA

After an immigration judge renders his decision, either orally or in writing, a party has the option of filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. Once the party files this appeal with the BIA, the lower court is divested of its jurisdiction.

Once the BIA makes a decision, it is legally binding, meaning that all immigration judges and DHS officers must comply with the board’s decision (unless the decision is overturned in federal court because of a lower court’s procedural violation). The U.S. Attorney General may also overturn a decision made by the BIA.

What Is an Immigration Appeal?

If you’re unhappy with the decision ruled in your case, you have the right to appeal it. As defined by USCIS, “an appeal is a request to a different authority to review a decision.” If you choose to take this route, your request will be reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), as mentioned above. Please note that only the petitioners themselves can file an appeal; generally speaking, beneficiaries cannot file.

When to Appeal: In most cases, you must file the appeal within 30 days of the decision. Please note, this is NOT the same as the date that you received the decision; rather it’s the date on which the decision was officially made. In certain cases, people will have only 15 days to appeal the decision—consult an attorney to make sure you’re following the correct deadline. While there are no extensions for these deadlines, an additional three days is provided to all parties who receive their decisions by mail, bringing the deadlines to 33 days and 18 days respectively. Failure to act within these deadlines means you forfeit your right to appeal.

How to Appeal: To appeal your case, you’ll need to file a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. This form should be used to file:

  • an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO);
  • a motion with the USCIS office (AAO, field office, or service center) that issued the most recent decision in your case; or
  • certain appeals of the ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program for the denial of an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Form I-17, Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Status.

*The Form I-290B should not be used for any of the following:

  • appeal of decision pertaining to special immigrant workers and temporary residents under sections 201 and 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act; instead, use Form I-694, Notice of Appeal of Decision Under Sections 210 or 245A of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • appeal of a decision to I-130, Petition for Alien Relative; instead, use Form EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer
  • appeal of decision on N-400, Application for Naturalization; instead, use Form N-336, Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings

How Long Does It Take for an Appeal to Get Approved?

Generally speaking, the AAO will complete the appellate review within 180 days of receiving the full case file. However, extenuating circumstances may extend this process, so be sure to consult with an attorney on the personal timeline of your case. You can also check the status of your appeals case by calling (800) 898-7180. By dialing this number, you can learn the status of your appeal due date, along with the brief due date, and the decision outcome/date.

What Happens After an Appeal Is Granted?

If your appeal is granted, you will receive an appeal decision from the AAO by mail. Any representative of record will also receive the appeal decision, which is considered effective and final the date it’s issued by the AAO.

You can count on the Phoenix immigration appeal attorneys at Maria Jones Law Firm to handle your case in the most efficient and professional manner possible. Please call (602) 603-4032 today.

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