What is the Board of Immigration Appeals Process?

Judge's gavel on a block

Individuals who lose their immigration case should not lose hope — if done promptly, an appeal can be filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA is an appellate court through the U.S. Department of Justice and reviews the decisions of immigration judges. To comply with federal regulations, the appeal must be received by the BIA within 30 days of the immigration judge's order.

If you wish to file an appeal to the BIA, time is of the essence. Contact Murray Osorio PLLC to talk to our immigration deportation defense attorneys today.

Who Can Appeal to the BIA?

If an immigrant feels they received an unjust ruling in their immigration case, they can most likely file an appeal with the BIA. In the appeal, the immigrant must show that a judge made mistakes about the law or facts in their case, and that the result would have been different if the judge did not make the mistake. 

Immigrants should note, though, that while they have the right to file an appeal, so does the Department of Homeland Security. This means that if the ruling went in the immigrant’s favor and the government's lawyers do not agree with the ruling, they can also file an appeal to the BIA.

What to Include in a BIA Brief

When filing an appeal, it is essential to have all of the necessary documents prepared and filed correctly the first time.  The failure to do so could potentially lead to the appeal being rejected or dismissed.

When preparing the appeal, the documents that should be included are:

  • A Cover Letter — this document will outline what’s included in the appeal packet;
  • The Notice of Appeal Form — this is Form EOIR-26 found on the U.S. Department of Justice’s website;
  • A Statement of Reasons for Appeal — this is the immigrant’s account of why the judge’s order is incorrect and should be appealed;
  • A copy of the judge’s original order in which the immigrant is appealing; and,
  • The BIA filing fee — if an immigrant can not pay the fee, there is a fee waiver request application (Form EOIR-26A).

If you indicate that you intend to file a brief in support of the appeal, you should wait for a briefing schedule from the BIA after submitting your appeal form, which will tell you when you should file your brief. Additional documentation may also be required, which is something an experienced immigration attorney can assist with.

The BIA’s Decision

Once the BIA has all the necessary documents, it can make one of two decisions:

  • Sustain the Appeal — this is when the BIA concludes that the judge made a mistake and the immigrant’s case will go back to the judge with instructions to make a new ruling.
  • Dismiss the Appeal — this is when the BIA concludes that the judge did not make a mistake and the immigrant’s deportation order will be enforced. If this happens, an immigrant must either leave the U.S. or quickly file an appeal with the federal court.  If the BIA denies an immigrant's appeal, the immigrant may file an appeal (called a "petition for review") with the appropriate federal circuit court.

The Deportation Defense Attorneys at Murray Osorio PLLC

Those facing deportation can feel scared, nervous, and unsure about the future. Let the immigration attorneys at Murray Osorio PLLC give you the confidence you need to move forward with your life. Our dedicated deportation defense team can assist with your BIA brief and ensure you have the correct paperwork and details to present to the court.

Reach out to our nationwide immigration lawyers online or by phone to schedule a consultation. (800) 929-7142

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