appeals of immigration court decisions

Immigration Legal Services

If you receive an unfavorable decision by an Immigration Judge while in removal proceedings, you have the right to appeal that decision. The appeal is normally filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA will then review the decision to determine if the Immigration Judge erred in his/her decision.

To file an appeal of an Immigration Judge’s decision with the BIA, you must file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the Immigration Judge’s final order. Late filings will not be accepted. Although you are not required to do so, it is recommended to include your argument for appeal in the form of a legal brief and supporting evidence with your initial filing. The BIA will then send you a briefing schedule, with a due date for the brief, which is normally 30 days. Note there are filing fees with your Notice of Appeal. You may also request an oral argument in addition to the written evidence you provide; although the BIA has discretion on whether to grant an oral argument. That is why it is very important to make your written appeal as strong as possible. When you file your appeal, you must also serve the other party, in this case the government, with a copy of your appeal. They will then be given the opportunity to file a response. Once the BIA has reviewed all the documents related to your appeal, they will issue a decision, which can take months and sometimes years to receive.

If your appeal is denied by the BIA, you may ask a federal court to review their decision. Because of the complicated and confusing nature of appeals, it is always best to consult with an EXPERIENCED immigration attorney.  The Law Offices of Meri S. Ponist, P.C. has successfully challenged Immigration Judge's Decisions on Appeal before the BIA.