Immigration judges make dozens of decisions each day, but they’re not always in favor of immigrants. Sometimes judges choose to deport people through removal proceedings, deny asylum or citizenship, or make other decisions that don’t seem right based on the circumstances. If a judge has made a decision you don’t agree with, you may be able to file an appeal. Some people choose to work with an immigration attorney to take this step. Here’s what you need to know about asking a higher court to look at your case.
What Are Immigration Appeals?
Immigration appeals are requests to different authorities to review unfavorable decisions. Typically, you must file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals or the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office. These two entities have jurisdiction over different types of immigration cases.
How Are Motions Different From Appeals?
A motion to reconsider and a motion to reopen are different from appeals. With these motions, you ask the same judge to review his or her decision.
When Can You File an Immigration Appeal?
In order to file an immigration appeal, you must be eligible to do so. Usually, you have 30 days from the date of the decision. If you wait longer, your request to appeal could be denied. In some cases, such as the revocation of the approval of a petition, you must appeal within 15 days of the decision. (If the decision is mailed to you rather than physically handed to you or your attorney, the court will give you an additional 3 days to appeal, which gives you 33 days if your petition was denied and 18 days if your approval was revoked.) The court’s written decision will tell you how long you have to file an appeal, but remember, there is no way to extend the deadline.
Where Do You File Immigration Appeals?
You must file your appeal through the appropriate channels. For this reason, many people choose to work with an immigration attorney who understands the process. Your attorney will know where to file an appeal based on the type of case you have.
What Can an Attorney Do for You During an Immigration Appeal?
Your attorney will fight for a more favorable result. He or she can create an aggressive strategy that gets you the best possible outcome, whether you’re fighting deportation or you’re trying to get your petition for U.S. citizenship approved. Your attorney will represent you in court and speak on your behalf when possible, and he or she may provide documentation that helps an immigration judge revisit the case and come up with a different decision.
Do You Need to Talk to a Lawyer About Immigration Appeals?
If you’re considering an immigration appeal, you may want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Call us now to schedule a free consultation – we may be able to help you.