If you have received a denial notice from USCIS, you may have the option to file an appeal or a motion to reopen. Nanthaveth and Associates can help!
Immigration Appeals Law Firm
If you have received a denial notice from USCIS, you may be able to file an appeal or open a motion to reconsider the decision. The attorneys at Nanthaveth & Associates offer case-specific legal advice in immigration appeals and possess the thorough understanding of immigration policy that is required for appeals and motions.
An appeal is a request to a different authority to review an unfavorable decision. That means the original judge in your case won’t be the same person reviewing your case. When you appeal, you’re escalating your case to the next-higher authority.
When you file an appeal, you are asking either the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of USCIS or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) of the U.S Department of Justice to review the original decision made on your case. When you file an appeal, it is mandatory that you provide an explanation of why you think the original decision was an error. In order to provide a complete and thorough explanation, it is recommended that applicants submit briefs with their Notice of Appeal (Form I-290B). With the professional experience and legal expertise of our immigration attorneys, we will provide a detailed and concise brief for your appeal. It’s also important for you to know that neither the AAO nor the BIA usually hear oral arguments – that means the brief (the written document that explains why you believe the court’s original decision was wrong) must contain a strong argument in your favor.
What Cases Does the Administrative Appeals Office Hear?
The Administrative Appeals Office hears cases involving:
- Adjustment of Status applications
- Applications for Temporary Protected Status
- Investment-based and employment-based visas
- Petitions involving orphans, juveniles, special immigrants and religious workers
- Petitions involving temporary labor, services or training
Motions vs. Immigration Appeals
Unlike an appeal, a motion does not involve the review of higher authorities. Rather, a motion is a request for the original decision maker in the case to review their decision. There are two types of motions that an applicant can file after receiving a denial notice: a motion to reopen and a motion to reconsider.
What is a Motion to Reopen an Immigration Case
A motion to reopen requests that the original decision maker on your case reviews their original decision due to new evidence or changed circumstances within the case. When an applicant files a motion to reopen, they must provide the new evidence or circumstances, along with a through explanation of why this new evidence or changed circumstances should affect the original decision of the case.
What is a Motion to Reconsider an Immigration Case?
A motion to reconsider, which requests a review of the original decision based on new or additional legal arguments. A motion to reconsider provides the opportunity to use newly discovered legislation and case studies to argue in favor of an applicant’s case.
Immigration Appeal FAQ
Check out these commonly asked questions about immigration appeals. If you don’t see your own question answered here, please call us right away – we’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you case-specific legal advice when necessary.
What Can I Do if I’m Not Happy With a USCIS Decision?
If USCIS makes an immigration decision that you disagree with, you may be eligible to file an appeal or a motion. In an appeal, you’re asking a higher authority to look at the case and render a new judgement. With a motion, you’re asking the original authority – the one who made the latest decision in the proceeding – to review the circumstances of the case, with or without new evidence.
Can I Appeal a Visa Denial or Revocation?
Usually, only the original petitioner can file an appeal or motion on a denied or revoked visa petition; the beneficiary typically can’t.
There’s an exception, though; if you fill both roles (meaning that you’re the petitioner and the beneficiary), you can file an appeal or motion. That can occur if you’re a VAWA self-petitioner, for example, or if you’re the widow or widower of a U.S. citizen. Some beneficiaries of Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, can file an appeal or motion in revocation proceedings, as well.
If you’re not sure about your situation, the best thing to do is to get in touch with an Austin immigration attorney who understands how current laws affect your case.
What’s the Best Way to File an Immigration Appeal?
Many people choose to work with an attorney – particularly if they haven’t yet worked with a lawyer or law firm on the case before. That’s because working with a lawyer can take a lot of the guesswork out of filing an appeal or a motion. Immigration attorneys are very familiar with the law and how it can affect their clients.
You absolutely have the right to seek legal counsel. For many people, that’s the best way to file an immigration appeal. Your attorney will most likely file an appeal using Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if your lawyer is appealing a decision on an application for naturalization, special immigrant petition, or a petition for an alien relative, he or she will use other forms.
How Long Do I Have to File an Appeal for an Immigration Decision?
In most cases, you must file an appeal within 30 days of an unfavorable immigration decision. However, there are very limited circumstances in which you can take longer. Generally, though, if you wait longer than 30 days to make your appeal, the court could deny it. The document that contains the unfavorable immigration decision will give you details on making an appeal (if your case is eligible for appeal).
For most people, the best course of action is to get in touch with an attorney immediately after receiving an unfavorable immigration decision. Your attorney will talk to you about your options and explain what you can do next – and then, he or she will begin working to get you the best possible outcome.
What Are Briefs in an Immigration Appeal?
Because the AAO and BIA rarely hear oral arguments on appeals, a brief is the best way to communicate the circumstances of your case to the appropriate authorities. Briefs are written legal arguments, and they usually follow a certain format. They state important information about a case, and they typically apply reasoning to the facts in the case.
You don’t have to write your own brief. Your attorney will talk to you about your circumstances and put together the brief for you. Then, he or she will file it with the appropriate authorities.
Should I File a Motion or an Appeal?
When you file a motion to reconsider or a motion to reopen, you’re asking the officials presiding over your case to reevaluate their original decision or reopen the case. You may want the case reconsidered if you believe the law was applied incorrectly or the authority didn’t look at all the facts. Likewise, you may want your case reopened and reevaluated because you have new evidence or changed circumstances that could have changed the outcome of the original case.
An appeal is different. Essentially, an appeal is you asking a higher authority to look at your entire case with fresh eyes.
Many people believe that the best thing to do is to consult with an attorney after an unfavorable immigration decision. If you talk to a lawyer and explain your situation, you’ll be able to find out what options you have – whether you should file a motion or file an immigration appeal.
How Long Do Appeals and Motions Take to Process?
Generally, appeals tend to take 180 days or less. However, that time frame can vary based on caseloads and whether the reviewing authority needs more information. Motions can take between 90 and 180 days (or more) to process, as well. If you haven’t received a response within those time frames, your attorney will find out what happened – and he or she will work hard to get your case moving again.
The immigration attorneys at Nanthaveth and Associates possess the extensive knowledge of immigration law necessary to help you with the appeals process. Our firm keeps up to date on new immigration legislation, policies, and court cases to ensure that we can provide effective arguments for your case. If you have received a denial notice from USCIS, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!
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