The enforcement of United States immigration law through the immigration court system is an administrative process and is not considered judicial. The Board of Immigration Appeals – often referred to as the "BIA" or "Board" – is the highest administrative body.
The immigration judge first receives the case. The judge interprets and applies the immigration laws to the facts of your case and makes a final decision. When the judge has made a decision that does not favor your position, you have (30) days to appeal the decision to the Board.
The Board is located in Falls Church, Virginia. An appeal is filed with the Board first by the filing of a Notice of Appeal and then by the filing of a written brief. Oral arguments before the Board are rare. Most decisions are made by the Board after they review the written record of the case and the briefs submitted by the parties.
The Board’s decision is binding on the immigrant, the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration Court. The Board’s decision may be, but is not always, subject to judicial review in the United States Court of Appeals.
Decisions of the Immigration Court most often brought before the Board on appeal include but are not limited to orders of removal, orders that deny relief from removal, a finding of immigration fraud including marriage fraud, denied asylum claims, denied petitions, criminal conduct classified as a CMT or AF.
The first step in considering whether to appeal a decision to the Board is to determine whether you have any appealable issues. Making this determination requires a complete review of the record. An appealable issue is an arguable point in law or in fact wherein the judge decided with the government rather than in your favor.
It is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in an appeal to the Board.
Kyndra L Mulder, Esquire, has been licensed to practice law of over 25 years. She is licensed to file appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
This article is intended to be for information purposes only and is not legal advice.