If you have submitted an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals which is also known by the acronym BIA, you may be wondering what happens after you have submitted your appeal. To find out, simply continue reading to discover the different outcomes which may eventuate, if you try to appeal an immigration judge’s decision to issue you with a deportation order.

Mandatory Fee

In order for your appeal to be processed by the Board of Immigration Appeals, you’ll need to pay a filing fee unless you are applying for asylum in the United States. If you don’t have the financial means to pay this fee, you can fill out an appeal fee waiver form, in order to have this fee waived. Just keep in mind that if you file for a waiver, you’ll be required to provide evidence that proves that you’re genuinely experiencing financial hardship. For example, you’ll need to be comfortable providing your monthly income.

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Your Appeal To The Board Of Immigration Appeals

If you choose to submit an appeal to the BIA you will not go through another hearing in a courtroom. Instead, the Board of Immigration Appeals will review all the evidence and documents from your initial immigration hearing known as your primary hearing and your merits hearing, which is your final hearing. On very rare occasions the board of Immigration Appeals may invite individuals to their headquarters in Virginia in order to provide verbal arguments or statements. However, the likelihood of needing to travel to Virginia in order to give an oral statement is very slim and it’s likely that all you’ll need to do is to provide a written statement for the Board of Immigration Appeals to consider.

The BIA’s Decision

After you have submitted your immigration appeal, expect to wait 6-12 months for a verdict. Do keep in mind that in some cases, you may need to wait longer than 12 months for a decision, if your case is particularly complex or if the Board of Immigration Appeals has a backlog of appeals to get through. Due to the length of time it takes the BIA to reach a verdict, it’s well worth appealing a deportation order as in most circumstances you’ll get to remain in the country for an extra 6-12 months, regardless of the verdict which the Board of Immigration Appeals ultimately reaches.

If you notified the judge at your merits hearing of your decision to appeal straight away, you will not need to worry about being deported from the United States before a decision. As in this circumstance, you’ll automatically have your deportation date which appears on your official deportation order, deferred. If you decide to launch an appeal after the day of your merits hearing but within 30 days of your hearing, you will need to apply for an extension on your deportation date. To ensure that you’re not deported from the United States before the Board of Immigration Appeals has a verdict for you.

If Your Appeal To The BIA Is Denied

Fortunately, if the Board of Immigration Appeals chooses to deny your appeal, all is not lost and you’ll have further opportunities to get your deportation order revoked. For example, usually, the next step which individuals who face deportation take is to submit an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals which is also known as the Federal Circuit.

Appealing To The Federal Circuit

If you are still adamant about remaining in the United States, you’ll need to submit an appeal to the Federal Circuit within 30 days of receiving the Board of Immigration Appeals’ final decision. If you wait longer than 30 days, you will no longer be able to submit an appeal to the Federal Circuit and will need to comply with your deportation order.

Waiting For The Federal Circuit To Approve Or Deny Your Appeal

There are 13 courts that make up the Federal Circuit and the time that it will take for the Federal Circuit to provide you with a decision on your appeal will depend on which court receives your appeal. The court that will review your appeal will be decided by the area in which your immigration hearings took place.

For example, if your initial immigration hearings took place in Texas, your appeal will be processed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Whereas if your immigration hearings took place in California your appeal will be handled by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In general, most of the courts in the Federal Circuit take between 12 months and 22 months, in order to deny or approve each immigration appeal. However, in some cases verdicts are reached within 6-7 months. So appealing to the Federal Circuit will not guarantee that you’ll be able to stay in the United States for a year or two.

Appealing To The Supreme Court

If both the BIA and the Federal Circuit deny your appeals, you can choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. However, there is a high likelihood that you’ll have your appeal denied as the Supreme Court is extremely busy and will only take on significant appeals.

What Happens If All Your Appeals Are Denied?

If you have your appeals denied by the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court denied, you will be forced to comply with your deportation order. This means that you’ll need to turn up to the stated venue at the time and date which is listed on your newest deportation order. While you may be permitted to return to the United States, depending on the context of your deportation, you can expect to have to wait 5 years to 20 years before you’ll be able to return to the US. Unless you manage to have your ban waived and are granted a brand new temporary visa or permanent visa, which will allow you to legally reenter the United States again.


In order to give yourself the best possible chances of being able to remain in the US, it’s important to clearly understand the different types of appeals which you can submit in order to try and fight your deportation order.


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