Board of Immigration appeals – commonly called BIA immigration appeals – are appeals that are brought before the highest administrative agency that interprets and applies immigration laws. The BIA is part of the U.S. Department of Justice and only hears appeals to decisions made by immigration judges and officials working for the Department of Homeland Security.
BIA immigration appeals generally involve things like removal orders (deportation), asylum denial cases, and withholding of removal cases.
If you wish to appeal a case with the BIA, you must request it within 30 calendar days of the date of the immigration judge’s decision.
You can appeal several types of decisions to the BIA, including:
- Removal orders (deportation)
- Denial of bond or parole
- Exclusion of aliens who are applying for admission to the United States
- Exclusion orders
- Family-based immigrant petitions involving the Department of Homeland Security
- Motions to reopen and reconsider immigration judges’ decisions
- Waivers of inadmissibility
- Withholding of removal and deportation
- Some Homeland Security administrative fines and penalties
Many people choose to work with a Baton Rouge immigration attorney to appeal an adverse immigration decision through the BIA. Although the court will not appoint an attorney for you if you can’t afford to hire one (because it’s not a criminal court), you still have the right to hire a lawyer to represent you.
You also have the right to represent yourself during an appeal. However, if you intend to represent yourself, you need to know that you must follow very strict rules and meet all the appropriate requirements for an appeal. For that reason alone, most people should work with an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney.
Remember: You only have 30 calendar days to file an appeal. That means if you wish to appeal an immigration judge’s decision, you must find an attorney quickly.
The Board of Immigration Appeals doesn’t usually conduct normal courtroom proceedings. Instead, it decides appeals by a “paper review.” However, sometimes the BIA will hear oral arguments, which typically take place in Virginia.
If you appeal a deportation decision, you may be able to stay in the United States while the appeal is working its way through the BIA system. Your attorney can let you know whether you’ll automatically be allowed to remain in the U.S. or you must file a petition asking for permission to do so.
Some – but not all – BIA decisions can be appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals. However, you should certainly talk to your lawyer about your options if you intend to appeal a BIA decision. U.S. immigration laws are very complex, and because appeals follow very strict rules, you must be extremely careful about the way you approach a higher court.
If you’re considering filing a BIA immigration appeal because you received a decision you don’t agree with, we may be able to help you. Call our office today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced and knowledgeable Baton Rouge immigration attorney. We’ll be happy to answer your questions, discuss possible outcomes for your case, and get you moving in the right direction.