What You Need To Know About Immigration Appeals

Judge tapping gavel at judge's stand

All judges are human, which means they are all prone to make mistakes. Unfortunately, mistakes made by the immigration judge overseeing your case can have devastating consequences for your future in America. The good news is that you can challenge an immigration judge’s decision by filing an appeal with your immigration lawyer. If you have lost your immigration case or are worried about the outcome of your case, here’s what you need to know about immigration appeals and how your US immigration lawyer can help.

Appeal Process

After your lawyer files an appeal on your behalf, the office that issued the unfavorable decision will first conduct an initial field review. If that office does not take favorable action, the appeal will be forwarded to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for further review. This appellate review should be completed within six months of when the AAO receives your appeal.

How to File

After learning that your immigration status has been revoked or denied, you will be sent a letter explaining how to file a motion for appeal. Most appeals must be filed on Form I-290B within 30 days of the initial denial. However, some immigration categories have different appeal requirements, so it is always in your best interest to consult with a US immigration lawyer to ensure that your appeal is handled correctly.

Request for Expedited Processing

The AAO generally processes appeals in the order received; however, they will review expedite requests on a case-by-case basis. The AAO grants requests for expedited processing for individuals facing extremely urgent situations, and in cases where a handling error by the USCIS has created a delay that may jeopardize your appeal. You may also request the ability to appeal the immigration decision in person with an oral argument. Inform your immigration lawyer of your wish to request an oral argument before sending in the appeal form.