There are numerous reasons why you may be summoned to attend an immigration hearing. For example, if you are a US resident and hold a green card you can be formally summoned to attend a primary hearing and a merits hearing in an immigration court. Alternatively, if you have overstayed a temporary visa and are caught remaining in the United States, you are likely to be detained and to appear at a primary hearing and a merits hearing in an immigration court. In the event that the judge in charge of your trial doesn’t rule in your favor, your next move should be to either petition to reopen your case in order to present new evidence or to appeal the judge’s decision. To discover a handy guide to immigration appeals, simply continue reading.
A Guide To Immigration Appeals
Decide Whether To Reopen Your Case Or File An Appeal
If you’re not interested in complying with a deportation order, there are two immediate steps that you’ll be able to take in order to avoid being deported. If you believe that the judge came to an incorrect decision and did interpret the information in your case properly, your best option is to appeal the deportation sentence which you received.
However, if within 30 days of your merits hearing you discover new evidence that you believe can prove your legal right to remain in the country, you need to apply to reopen your immigration case as you’re not able to present brand new evidence in an immigration appeal. Furthermore, if you try to introduce new evidence in an appeal, the evidence will be dismissed and will not be taken into account. So in order to avoid wasting your valuable time, be sure about whether you should file an appeal or a motion to reopen your immigration case.
Notify The Immigration Court About Your Decision
If you do decide to appeal the deportation decision which you were given at the end of your merits hearing, you’ll have two options. You can immediately let the judge presiding over your immigration case, that you will appeal their decision or you can notify your immigration court of your decision to file an appeal within 30 days of the date of your merits hearing. However, if you fail to submit an appeal within 30 days of your merits hearing, you will no longer be able to appeal your deportation notice and will be required to comply with the details of your scheduled deportation.
Ensure That You Have An Immigration Attorney To Represent Your Interests
While it is possible to submit an appeal on your own, you’ll greatly increase your chances of having the Board of Immigration Appeals rule in your favor, if you hire an experienced immigration attorney. As they’ll be able to ensure that you have all the right documentation in order to convince the Board of Immigration Appeals to reverse your court-ordered deportation. Remember that a professional immigration attorney will have helped countless individuals submit immigration appeals and as a result, have the knowledge and expertise to increase your chances of having your appeal approved.
Submit Your Appeal Request To The Board Of Immigration Appeals (BOA)
In order to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals, you’ll need to fill out a form or write a letter that states the exact reasons why you believe that the immigration judge in charge of your case made an error. For example, you may want to cite immigration laws that the judge did not accurately apply to your case. Or if there have been recent changes in immigration laws that increase your chances of remaining in the United States, you may want to cite these specific law changes in your application. However, do keep in mind that you will not be able to present brand new evidence to the BIA as new evidence won’t be considered as part of your appeal.
What Comes Next Once You Have Submitted Your Appeal
Typically it takes anywhere between 8 months to 18 months for the Board of Immigration Appeals to process your appeal and to reach a conclusion. For this reason, it’s a wise idea to notify the judge at your merits hearing that you would like to appeal their decision so that you are granted an automatic deportation extension. If you file an appeal in the 29 days following your merits hearing, you will need to apply for a deferral of your scheduled deportation. Keep in mind that an extension will not be automatically granted unless you make your intention of applying for an appeal, known to the merits hearing judge on the day of your hearing.
If you were curious about whether you would have to attend extra court hearings as part of your appeal, you won’t be required to appear in court again. Instead, the Board of Immigration Appeals will look through your written appeal and all of the paper documents that are tied to your immigration case, in order to decide whether they will uphold the immigration judge’s verdict or reverse it.
If The Board Of Immigration Appeals Denies Your Appeal
If after waiting several months the BIA decides to reject your appeal, talk to your immigration attorney about submitting an appeal with the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. So that you’ll have another chance to try and overturn your immigration judge’s verdict. Again expect to wait at least 7 months for the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals to process your appeal and to get back to you with a final decision.
If The Federal Circuit Board Of Appeals Denies Your Appeal
Your last chance to prevent your deportation is to appeal to the Supreme Court. Again your immigration attorney will be able to assist you with submitting an appeal to the Supreme Court and will ensure that you have all of the right documents to file your appeal.
If you are disappointed by the verdict which your immigration judge hands you, all is not lost and with the help of an experienced immigration attorney, you will have several chances to appeal your deportation order.