Chicago Law Office of Christine Contreras

How to File an Appeal with USCIS

If you receive a decision from USCIS that is unfavorable to your case, for example a denial or revocation decision notice, you may be eligible to file an appeal, which will require submitting additional forms and information. Another alternative is to file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider a case, even if your case is not eligible for appeal.

Here is the most important information you need to know in case you need to file an appeal or motion:

What exactly is an appeal?

An appeal is a request to review a decision, sent to a different authorizing body. The USCIS has the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) and the Department of Justice has a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Typically, appeals are filed with the AAO using Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.

This form has two parts:

  • Part One contains details about the applicant
  • Part Two contains information about the reasons for the appeal

Your appeal form must detail the “erroneous conclusion of law or statement of fact” to be considered. If you cannot detail this within the documentation of the form, you may file a brief in addition to Form I-290B.

What about motions?

A motion is different from an appeal. There are two types of motions: Motion to Reopen and Motion to Reconsider.

A Motion to Reconsider involves an applicant asking an authority to reconsider a case, usually involving overlooked or incorrect information. A Motion to Reopen presents new evidence or facts for an authority to consider. Having an attorney assist your preparation of documents and application can prevent the need for motions. They can assure you have satisfactory evidence and documentation for your case.

Can any decision be appealed?

Not all unfavorable decisions can be appealed. Your decision will contain information on whether your case is eligible for appeal, and where to file an appeal.

How long do you have to file an immigration appeal?

Appeals should be filed no later than 30 days after the original decision. If the decision was mailed to you, you will have 3 more days for delayed logistics. Depending on the decision type, you may only have 15 days to appeal.

How long does it take the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) to review an appeal?

The AAO places a timeline of 180 days to review the details of an appealed application. This is by no means a firm timeline, and additional details and information may be requested.

Maintain a vigilant watch on your email and mailbox for additional communication, and respond promptly. Limiting any downtime in the appeal review process will be a huge benefit to you, and responding quickly will help to show your commitment to reversing the decision.

How much does it cost to file an appeal?

Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, will cost $675 to file.

What happens if an appeal is denied?

If your appeal is denied, you may need to consult with a lawyer about possible motions to reopen or reconsider.

The process of filing appeals or motions can be daunting as they can take longer to process, and assistance from an attorney can be extremely valuable. We have years of experience with appeals and motions. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance with filing an appeal, contact us today!