Appealing Decisions of Immigration Courts

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Can I Appeal an Immigration Court Decision?

An Immigration Court decision can have a huge impact on your life as it might result in your deportation. Fortunately, you have 30 days from the date of the judge’s decision to appeal the decision.

Once you start the appeal process, your case will be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The Board, while it waits to hear your appeal, will order a stay on the enforcement of the Immigration Court’s decision. This means that if the Immigration Court has ordered your deportation, a stay will prevent the deportation from taking place until the Board has made a final decision as to your appeal.

What If the Board Of Immigration Appeals Rules Against Me?

If the Board of Immigration Appeals rules against you, you can also appeal that decision as well. If you appeal the decision of the Board of Immigration, that case no longer stays in the immigration court system and is instead moved into the federal court system. Appealing Board decisions is actually a fairly common occurrence. One estimate is that 40% of federal appellate cases in California and Texas came from the Immigration Courts.

Do I Need An Attorney?

It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney if you wish to appeal an Immigration Court decision. An experienced immigration lawyer will be able to help you craft an appeal that has the best chance of success.

If the Board of Immigration Appeals does not rule in your favor, your lawyer can help you decide whether or not to file an appeal in the federal court system. Also, it is important to have someone familiar with all the rules and regulations that come with filing an appeal with the Board, as the Board can reject a request for an appeal if all of its requirements are not met.

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Last Modified: 12-10-2013 12:11 PM PST

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