Strategic tips for pursuing an immigration appeal

If your immigration petition was initially unsuccessful, it is important to remember that there are appeals available to you. However, there are usually deadlines for filing any appeals, so make sure you consult with an immigration law firm to protect your rights.

When considering whether you might have a chance in the immigration appeals process, the first step is identifying the proper judicial forum and deadline. That information should be found on the denial notice. Administrative appeals are generally filed with the same office that made the unfavorable decision.

An appeal filing should be taken with strategic considerations in mind. For example, an appellant may wish to include a written brief with the filing. The brief may assert various arguments about alleged errors committed by the lower office. Perhaps the decision maker incorrectly excluded evidence that would have benefitted the immigration applicant. In other cases, the decision maker may have given too much weight to unfavorable evidence. Perhaps the legal outcome was unsupported by evidence.

Concurrently, an individual can also file a motion with the lower office, seeking to reconsider the decision or reopen the case. The arguments in a motion to reopen are often different than either the appellant's brief or the motion for reconsideration. Whereas an appeal or reconsideration might be based on alleged legal errors, a motion to reopen may allege that new facts or changed circumstances call for a different outcome.

Our law firm focuses on immigration law, and we have helped many clients evaluate their options when facing an unfavorable immigration decision.

Source: FindLaw, "Administrative Appeals with the USCIS," copyright 2017, Thomson Reuters

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