When a request for an immigration status change has been denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), it may be possible to appeal the decision.
Because the appeals process is different than the standard application process – and because the outcomes of appeals can be crucial, below, we have answered some of the most common questions about filing appeals with USCIS.
Answers about Filing Appeals to USCIS Decisions
Q – How do I know if I can appeal the USCIS decision I recently received?
A – The denial notice (or the notice regarding USCIS’ final decision in your case) will provide details regarding your appeal rights. If filing an appeal is an option for your situation/case, USCIS will outline the basic information needed to get started, including the deadline for filing the appeal.
Q – How do I initiate an appeal?
A – In general, an appeal with USCIS starts with completing and filing a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Other forms that may need to be filed to initiate an appeal can include (but may not be limited to):
- Form N-336 to appeal decisions regarding Naturalization
- Form EOIR-29 to appeal decisions regarding petitions for alien relatives (or other decisions that need to be appealed to the Board of Immigrations Appeals, BIA).
Q – How soon does an appeal have to be filed?
A – Typically, appeals to USCIS decisions must be filed with 30 days of the date on which the denial or prior decision was issued.
Here, it’s also crucial to point out that:
- In some situations, the deadlines for filing appeals may be shorter.
- The decision letter should provide a specific end date for filing an appeal.
- No extensions are provided for appeals deadlines.
Q – What needs to be filed along with the appeals form?
A – It depends on the case you are appealing, as well as the details provided in the denial letter. In general, however, documents that should be filed with the appropriate appeals form should include those that detail how and why USCIS made an inappropriate decision.
If not supporting evidence is provided with the appeal form (regarding why the previous decision was made in error), the appeal application can be denied.
Q – Do I need to retain an attorney to help me with a USCIS appeal?
A – You do if you are serious about the success of your appeal. The bottom line is that appeals can be complicated and that making mistakes with them can result in additional delays and costs, not to mention stress and possibly lost opportunities. To ensure your efforts to request an immigration status change are positioned for success, it’s best to work with an experienced immigration attorney – like those at the Hanlon Law Group.
Contact a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
Do you need help with any immigration issues? If so, you can turn to a Los Angeles immigration attorney at the Hanlon Law Group, P.C.
To learn more about our citizenship, immigration and deportation defense services contact us today by calling (626) 684-3712 or (866) 227-5527 or by emailing us using the form at the upper right-hand side of the screen. From our office in Pasadena, we serve clients throughout the Los Angeles area, across the state of California and from around the world.