The Board of Immigration Appeals is commonly referred to as the “BIA” or, “Board.”In this article we refer to the Board of Immigration Appeals as the, “Board.”
The Board is an the appellate body with in the United States Department of Justice and hears appeals from decisions of the Executive Office of Immigration Review also known as the Immigration Courts. The Board also reviews some decisions of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Board’s decision is the final administrative action in a given case. The next step after the Board denies an appeal is to file a Petition for Review with the United States Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction over the case. The Board may also remand the case back to the Immigration Judge to reconsider, reverse or issue a new opinion. The petitioner can also request that the Board reconsider or reopen its decision.
The Board, unlike the immigration court has only one location in Falls Church, Virginia. The Board is made up of 14 Board Members – the law allows for 15 - who are administrative judges and have been appointed by the United States Attorney General. The entire Board does not usually consider a case. Normally a case is considered by a panel of three Board Members.
It is not necessary to have an attorney in order to file an appeal with the Board. A person can file his or her own appeal. Aperson who is not a licensed attorney must be a member of a recognized organization (generally a nonprofit), that is approved by the Board and the individual must have accreditation with the Board.
About the Author: Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire has been a licensed attorney for over 25 years. Her practice is limited to United States Immigration and Naturalization Law. The practice includes appeals to the Board and to the Eleventh Circuit.