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Immigration Appeals Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland 

Certain types of immigration decisions rendered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). In cases where an Immigration Judge has issued a decision not in your favor, you can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is an office within the Department of Justice (DOJ). Even if your USCIS decision is not eligible for appeal, you can file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider. 

Appealing or filing a motion is not a do-it-yourself (DIY) proposition in most cases. You will need to meet tight deadlines and provide enough justification for the USCIS or AAO to reverse the earlier decision. You really need to hand over the appeal to an experienced immigration attorney who will shepherd everything through the proper channels with the documentation and evidence needed. 

If you’re in or around the Greenbelt, Maryland area, or anywhere throughout Prince George’s County, contact The Anyere Law Firm, LLC. Our attorney is an immigrant himself. We will treat you and your case with the utmost compassion and will fight aggressively for the result you desire. Don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to appealing a USCIS decision. Let us put together a convincing appeals package 

Which Decisions Are Eligible for Appeal 

According to the USCIS, there are about 50 different types of immigration applications or petitions that can be appealed, including but not limited to: 

  • Most employment-based immigrant and non-immigration visa applications 

  • Temporary Protected Status applications 

  • K-1 fiancé/ fiancée visa applications 

  • Applications to reapply for admission after removal (deportation) 

  • Applications for a waiver of inadmissibility 

  • Orphan petitions 

  • Certain special immigration visa petitions 

  • Applications for certificates of naturalization and citizenship 

The list above is not comprehensive. The notice you receive from the USCIS will indicate whether your decision is appealable, but remember, even if it is not, you can still file a motion to reopen or reconsider. Your attorney can help you take the proper steps necessary to seek a reversal of the decision. 

How Long Do I Have to Appeal? 

You have 30 days to appeal an adverse decision; 33 if the decision is mailed to you. These are calendar days, not business days, but if the last day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline becomes the following Monday. For some petitions such as the revocation of the approval of a petition, the appeals time is only 15 days. No extensions are available. 

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Motions to Reopen and Reconsider 

Motions are always available even if appealing to the AAO is not. If you want to file a motion to reopen, then you will need to have new evidence or documentation – “new facts,” as the USCIS says – that was not reviewed in the first decision, or it will likely be denied. All motions are considered by the same decision-maker who rendered the first judgment. 

Immigration officials do make mistakes, so it is possible to file a motion for reconsideration as well. A motion to reconsider will assert that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or policy. According to the USCIS, “The motion must establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence of record at the time of that decision.” 

Appealing to the AAO 

When the USCIS denies an application, it sends a letter to the immigrant with instructions on how to file an appeal, provided an appeal is available. Then the 33-day clock starts ticking.  

You can indeed just fill out an appeals form and submit it with your payment, but the USCIS warns that you must “specifically identify any erroneous conclusion of law or statement of fact in the unfavorable decision. If you do not provide a sufficient explanation of why you think the earlier decision was in error, your appeal may be dismissed.” 

Your appeal will first undergo what the USCIS terms an “initial field review” of the application. The reviewing office will then either treat the appeal as a motion to reopen or as a motion to reconsider and approve the application or petition, or forward it to the AAO to issue a new decision. 

To succeed in an AAO appeal, you are going to need to submit a brief on why the decision was wrong, along with supporting evidence. This is why the guidance and assistance of an experienced immigration attorney are essential.  

Appealing to the BIA 

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accepts appeals from those who wish to challenge the decision of an Immigration Judge involving removal or another issue. The BIA is located in Falls Church, Virginia, and hears appeals from immigration courts around the country. The BIA usually doesn’t accept new documents or evidence but reviews the evidence given to the Immigration Judge. 

As you can see, deadlines are tight, and requirements are fairly strict in appealing to the AAO or the BIA. In cases going before the AAO, you will need to provide your reason for challenging the decision – why it was wrong – and submit any new documentation that will help your case. The BIA is more like a Court of Appeal, where only prior evidence is looked at. In either case, you are going to need the help of an experienced immigration attorney. 

Immigration Appeals Attorney in Greenbelt, Maryland 

If you are in or around Greenbelt, Maryland, or in the nearby communities of Silver Spring, Columbia, and Gaithersburg, contact The Anyere Law Firm, LLC. Your future hangs in the balance when you appeal, and our immigration attorney will fight for your every right to seek a positive result.