Immigration AppealsWe handle most types of appeals related to immigration decisions, immigration court, and visa denials, including BIA Appeals and Circuit Court review of BIA decisions.
We regularly represent immigrants on appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Our clients are all over the United States. No matter where your immigration court hearing was, if you were ordered removed or if your application for relief from removal was denied, all appeals of these decisions are filed with the Board of Immigration appeals.
Filing a Notice of Appeal
All BIA appeals begin with a formal notice of the appeal. If we’re appealing an immigration court decision, we filed the Form EOIR-26 to notify the BIA of our intention to appeal. There is a filing fee of $110, but the Board regularly waives the fee if you cannot afford to pay it. The form is somewhat complicated and must be filled out completely and correctly, filed correctly, and served on the appropriate DHS office. We take care of completing the Form EOIR-26 and all attachments as well as timely filing and serving the Notice to Appeal.
The majority of the work in a BIA Appeal is in preparing a compelling written brief. The BIA adjudicates appeals almost entirely based on written arguments (rarely they’ll invite oral argument). This means that a compelling brief is absolutely critical. And it needs to not just be persuasive but also well-organized, properly citing the record and the transcript, and citing relevant, accurate case law and authorities in support of your argument. We handle complete brief-writing from beginning to end, and we file the brief in support of the appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals
Stays of Removal
Most appeals of an Immigration Judge’s decision will result in an automatic stay of removal. This means that while a direct appeal is pending from an immigration judge’s order of removal or denying relief, the removal order is automatically placed on hold, and the immigrant can’t be deported. Some appeals (including appeals of denied motions to reopen or reconsider and appeals filed late) do not result in an automatic stay of removal. In these cases, we have pursued Motions to Stay Removal for clients, which includes a complex process of obtaining an expedited decision.
Motions to Remand During an Appeal
While an appeal is pending, the circumstances change or the immigrant becomes eligible for new relief, sometimes we file a Motion to Remand with the BIA, arguing that the changes should result in a new hearing in the immigration court. A common circumstance that requires a “Motion to Remand” is when the immigrant’s home country conditions get significantly worse, making the immigrant newly eligible for asylum. Other circumstances where a motion to remand might make sense would be if the immigrant has a new child, gets married, obtains a visa in another category, or has any other change that could affect their immigration status.
Federal Circuit Court Appeals
If an immigrant wants to appeal a BIA decision or other final orders of removal, it must be filed in the Court of Appeals where the Immigration Judge completed the proceedings. Sometimes there will be several options about where to file the appeal (i.e. if the judge appeared by video from a different state). We have represented immigrants in most circuit courts and before the Supreme Court.
Filing a Petition For Review
An appeal to the federal Court of Appeals is called a Petition for Review. The Petition has to explain what it is we’re appealing, where the case was originally heard, why the venue is proper and the appeal is on time. Various courts of appeals have different procedures – some require electronic filing while others require filing on paper. We prepare the Petition for Review and handle filing and serving it in the proper place, on time.
The Circuit Court brief is even more important than the BIA brief, and it is a true art to do it well. The brief requires superb organization, accurate review and citation of the administrative record, creative argumentation, and in-depth, extensive citations to the federal cases and statute. All circuits have different rules about the format, order, and layout of Circuit Court briefs. Once they’re filed electronically, the briefs have to be physically printed and bound in multiple copies and then shipped to the court. We handle the entire process, from brainstorming and research, to writing, formatting, finalizing the brief, and then printing, binding, and shipping it.
Aside from the opening brief, the oral argument is the second-most important part of the appeal. Once all of the briefs are finished, the court may ask both parties to come to the court and argue about which side is correct. A compelling oral argument can make or break an appeal. It is a time for the judges to ask questions and to crystalize the issues. Our attorneys have traveled to Courts of Appeals all over the country to participate in oral argument.