Who Can Appeal an Immigration Decision


If your immigration application has been denied you might not be done yet. In some cases there are ways to appeal the decision. Anyone who has received a denial letter may appeal an immigration decision if they move quickly enough. 

In fact, when you receive your notice of denial it should contain information about where and how to file your appeal. 

If you did not involve an immigration attorney in the process prior to receiving this notice it is time to do so now. Few people win an appeal without help from a qualified immigration lawyer. 

The Appeal Timeline

There are always deadlines for filing an appeal. Most appeals will need to be filed within 30 days of the decision. Note that this does not mean “within 30 days of receiving the letter,” but within 30 days of the decision date printed on the letter. You will have to move fast!

If you have a revocation of the approval of a petition, you only have 15 days to appeal!

There are no extensions. If the decision is mailed to you then you get 3 extra days to account for the mailing period.

Once you have filed the appeal, it can take up to six months to receive a decision. 

The Appeal Process

You start by filing one of three forms:

The right form will depend on your case. Your attorney may also submit a brief with your appeal, in which your attorney outlines specific errors of legal process or interpretation of the law that they believe were made during the decision-making process. In this case, your attorney may file a Motion to Reconsider or a Motion to Reopen instead of an appeal.

A Motion to Reopen asserts that new facts have come to light in regards to your case and that USCIS should review the decision based on the presence of these new facts. 

The process starts with the initial USCIS agent or officer reviewing your case. The case may then be reopened or reconsidered, or forwarded to the AAO (Administrative Appeals Office) or the Board of Immigration Appeals if the officer determines that reopening or reconsidering your case is not warranted.

Keep in mind that an appeal does not stop removal proceedings and that additional steps may need to be taken to keep you in the United States while you are appealing USCIS’ decisions. 

Get Help Today

If you are facing an unfavorable decision from USCIS, reach out to the Law Office of Renee Hykel today. 

See also:

3 Reasons USCIS Might Cancel Your Interview

What Does it Mean to Get a Second USCIS Interview

How to Appeal a Visa Denial

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