What Are The Steps In Filing An Immigration Appeal?

At the end of your merits hearing, the presiding judge may decide to issue you with a deportation order. It is important to remember that hope is not lost. Your next step should be to file an appeal to overturn this decision.

An appeal can delay or reverse the deportation order the judge has decided on. It can be a complicated process, but a skilled immigration attorney can assist you and help you on your journey to staying on American soil.

Facing An Appeal Process Is A Legal Path You Will Want To Be Accompanied By Legal Advice And Representation

Steps To File An Appeal

There are steps you can follow to file an appeal. Seek help from an immigration attorney to get started.

Immediately Submit A Motion To Reconsider

Your first action should be to consider whether it’s in your best interest to submit a Motion To Reconsider through the immigration court which processed your hearing. 

To request a Motion To Reconsider, you must do so within 30 days from the date of your merits hearing. Failure to submit your application within the allocated 30-day period will mean that you can no longer appeal.

The Board Of Immigration Appeals

Even if the immigration court dismisses your Motion To Reconsider, you can lodge an appeal directly with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). You’ll need to prove that the judge misinterpreted the information presented in your hearing and came to an incorrect verdict. 

Just as you have 30 days from the date of your merits hearing to submit a Motion To Reconsider, you also have a strict 30-day period to legally appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

What To Do Once BIA Reaches A Decision

If the Board of Immigration Appeals rules in your favor, your deportation order will be overruled. It means you can continue living in the United States. However, if the BIA decides to uphold the judge’s verdict, you’ll be presented with a new deportation date. 

You can appeal to the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals in this event. Remember that an Attorney General or a federal court can overrule the decision.

The Federal Circuit Board Of Appeals

If you decide to appeal the BIA’s decision, your next step is to the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. This board comprises 13 federal courts, each of which can process appeals for different regions in the United States. 

In Texas, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit will be able to receive your request if your immigration hearing takes place in the state. The Fifth Circuit covers the counties of Colin, Dallas, Grayson, Hunt, Kaufman, and Rockwall. Outside of Texas, the Fifth Circuit also covers the states of Mississippi and Louisiana. 

If Your Appeal Is Rejected By The Federal Circuit Board Of Appeals

If your appeal is rejected again, you’ll have one final option. You can file with the Supreme Court. However, you should have legal representation from an experienced immigration attorney.

Also, keep in mind that if both the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals and the Board of Immigration Appeals decide to uphold your deportation order, it is unlikely that the Supreme Court will rule in your favor.

Consult With An Immigration Attorney

If you want to give yourself a favorable outcome with your appeal, it’s important to hire a seasoned immigration attorney. Find someone with a wealth of experience to offer and appeal your deportation order. An immigration lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can assist in initial appeals and those toward the BIA and the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. 


Even if the judge imposes a deportation order, you may still file for an appeal. You should immediately submit a Motion to Reconsider. Even if the Motion gets dismissed, you can still appeal to the BIA. If the BIA upholds the judge’s decision, you may forward your case to the Federal Circuit Board of Appeals. If you still don’t get a favorable decision, you may take it to the Supreme Court.

Take note that appeals in the Supreme Court may likely get rejected. It’s best to consult with an immigration attorney to get a better chance of a favorable result.

Grounds For Appeal