Can you appeal an immigration decision?

by | Nov 25, 2020 | Immigration

As an immigrant in California, what can you do if you want to live permanently in the country? You must go through the application process, whether you aim for a green card, a work visa or citizenship. 

If your application for immigration gets denied at first, it can feel like you have hit a dead end right away. That is not always the case, and you may be able to continue working toward your goal. But just what are your options if you face a denial of your application? 

How do appeals work?

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services examines the results you may get after applying for immigration. If you receive an unfavorable decision, you could potentially file an appeal or motion afterward. 

Through an appeal, you request a new authoritative party to review your case. You can appeal to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). You might get directed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) instead. This is an office within the Department of Justice. If you receive a denial, this should come with information about whether or not you are eligible to appeal and where you should file your appeal. 

Who do you appeal to?

With appeals, you can continue escalating to higher forms of authority. That is, until you reach the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court hears your case and denies your application, you have no way to continue appealing. 

A motion involves asking the entity that gave you the decision to reexamine your case. You can file a motion if your case is not considered applicable for an appeal. These are two options to keep in mind if you end up getting an initially unfavorable decision.