How to File an Immigration Appeal

Have you applied for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)? Have you submitted a fiancé petition, or have you filed an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa petition, only to have it denied?

If you have received a negative decision after applying for an immigration benefit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s over and you have to give up.

The good news is that when people receive negative decisions regarding certain categories of immigration benefits, they are able to appeal the negative decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).

The AAO is responsible for conducting administrative reviews of certain types of immigration appeals. Since mistakes can happen, the purpose of the administrative review process is to ensure that U.S. immigration laws have been interpreted correctly and with accuracy.

The AAO reviews the facts of a case and apply existing law when issuing decisions. Once the case has been reviewed by the Attorney General, the AAO may decide to issue a “precedent” decision – this way the AAO provides the public with clear guidance on how the law and policy is to be interpreted.

The AAO is the agency that has “appellate jurisdiction” over about 50 different types of immigration cases. However, not every denied immigration benefit case can be appealed to the AAO; some of the appeals are handled by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) instead.

Some of the appeals cases handled by the AAO:

  • The majority of immigrant and non-immigrant visa petitions (employment-based)
  • Temporary Protected Status applications
  • Waiver of ground of inadmissibility applications
  • Certain types of special immigrant visa petitions
  • ICE determinations regarding surety bonds that have been breached
  • Permission to reapply for admission after deportation (applications)
  • Fiancé and orphan petitions

If the USCIS denies a benefit, they send a letter to the applicant or petitioner explaining why they were denied. Most appeals have to be filed within 30 days of the denial, and these are filed on a Form I-290B.

The appeal requirements are not the same for all immigration categories, so it’s important to discuss the nature of your denial with an experienced immigration attorney before filing the appeal.

To learn more about the appeal process, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.

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