Receiving a denial in your immigration case can make you feel defeated, but you have the option to appeal.
An immigration appeal is a request to allow someone else to review your case. There are two government institutions that accept appeals: the Board of Immigration Appeals and the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office.
The Board of Immigration Appeals
The BIA typically makes decisions based on written briefs rather than oral arguments. Cases involving deportation, bond adjudication, and I-130 denials from the USCIS fall to the BIA, but if the judge upholds the original judgment in your case, you may have one more option. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is usually the last chance for a new judgment.
The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office
Like the BIA, the USCIS AAO usually hears appeal cases in written briefs. The AAO hears cases involving:
- Temporary labor petitions
- Applications for adjustment of status
- Investment and employment-based visas
- Applications for temporary protected status
- Special immigrant petitions, including juvenile, orphan, religious worker
Written briefs are often just as effective as oral arguments. You typically have 30 days from the time you received your decision to file, and the notice has thorough instructions for the appeal process.
Instead of an appeal, you may also file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider. The difference is that you ask the same judge to look at your case again and reconsider the judgment.
If you received the decision in the mail, the court may give you an additional three days to appeal. Acting fast is necessary.