What happens after my immigration appeal is filed?

by Blake P. Somers, Lawyer Referral Service Panelist

Once the notice of appeal is filed, the case and most, if not all, of the information from the case is transferred to the Board of Immigration Appeals which sits in Falls Church, Virginia. Once again, immigration “courts” are not actually courts in the traditional sense of the word—they are portions of an administrative agency. Thus the appellate review process is, at least initially, like other agency appeals. Generally, cases are decided by one member of the Board of Immigration Appeals, although, certain cases are deemed by the Board to be important enough to warrant three judges, if not more, ruling on the issues. The length of the appellate process at the Board of Immigration Appeals varies generally case by case and generally turning on the size of the record in the case, and the complexity of the issues involved. Ultimately, the individual will receive a written decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals. This decision will grant the relief sought, grant the relief in part and deny in part, or deny the appeal.

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