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Motion to Reopen & Appeals

Can I do anything about an unfavorable decision issued by USCIS?

Yes, you may be eligible to file an appeal or a motion on an unfavorable decision.

An appeal is a request to a different authority to review an unfavorable decision. You may appeal certain USCIS decisions to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  You can also file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider if you received an unfavorable decision in your case. You may file a motion even if your case is not eligible for an appeal. 


How much time do I have to file this appeal?

Generally, you must file an appeal within 30 days from the date of the decision. A shorter appeal period may apply to some cases such as the revocation of the approval of a petition, which has a 15-day deadline. 



Can I file a Motion to Reopen?

Foreign nationals with final orders of removal may move in certain circumstances to have their removal proceedings reopened in order to have a new adjudication on their removability from the U.S. The circumstances in which noncitizens may file motions to reopen include changed conditions in the noncitizen’s home country that leads him or her to fear persecution there; lack of notice of the immigration court hearing at which the immigration judge ordered removal; and exceptional circumstances that caused the noncitizen not to appear an immigration court hearing. Motions to Reopen may be filed with the immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals.  



Can I appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA):

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has jurisdiction to adjudicate appeals from decisions of Immigration Judges. It is important that an individual reserves his or her right to appeal the Immigration Judge’s decision at the close of removal proceedings. Otherwise, that appeal right may be lost. Either party to removal proceedings can file an appeal which must be filed within 30 days after the oral or written decision of the Judge. There is a filing fee which can be waived under certain circumstances. Once the BIA receives the notice of appeal, it will set deadlines for each party to submit written briefs. Although the BIA has discretion to grant oral arguments in cases, it rarely does so. An individual cannot be deported while an appeal is pending or during the 30-day appeal period as long as he or she reserved the right to appeal. Decisions by the BIA are considered to be final administrative decisions, but may be appealed to the relevant U.S. federal circuit court of appeals under certain circumstances.


These are all questions you should review with an experienced immigration lawyer.  The immigration lawyers at IISLG can meet with you to discuss and review your options on whether you should file and put together a solid appeal package.   

Contact an immigration lawyer at IISLG to review your options so you can decide which option is best for you.