If you have been denied an Immigration application or the Immigration Judge ordered you removed, you can file an appeal to have these decisions reviewed. The first level of appeal is the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals). If the BIA confirms the denial then you can file a petition to the 9th Circuit Court to have your case reviewed again.
Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)
Should I file an appeal?
In most cases, yes. There are cases that an appeal can't help you. Filing an appeal requires an experienced and knowledgeable Immigration Attorney that can present arguments to overcome the denial. The benefit that comes with filing an appeal is that you get a Stay of Removal, meaning you can't get deported while your case is pending with the BIA or the 9th Circuit Court.
How long does my appeal to the BIA take?
They can take more than 6 months depending on your situation. Either way, the longer it takes, the longer you can stay in the country without the fear of deportation. If applicable, you may continue to use your work permit. You can also buy time in hopes that a new law or new court decision benefits your case. If this were to happen then you can file a Motion to Reopen your deportation case based on the new law.
What is the deadline to file my appeal?
Once a decision is made and you disagree with it, you can file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days from the date of the decision. There are some situations where you can file later than the 30 days limit and Burga Law Firm PC can go over these with you.
What happens if my BIA Appeal is denied?
If you were in removal proceedings and the BIA dismissed your appeal, you may be able to file an appeal with the Court of Appeals. In California, we belong to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If you fail to file your appeal to the 9th Circuit then you could be removed from the United States.
Ninth Circuit Appeals
What is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals?
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is where you can appeal a decision from the BIA. You can appeal 1) Denials of Asylum and 2) Removal orders after a criminal conviction. If your case is in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, then the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is your local appellate court.
Appealing to the Ninth Circuit requires that the attorney appeal a “question of law” and not a “question of fact.” This means that the Ninth Circuit will not review an Immigration Judge's errors on the facts of your case, only errors on the law. That you disagree with how the Immigration Judge ruled on the law.
How long does my appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court take?
It is hard to say. An appeal to the Ninth Circuit could take several years. There are many appeals pending which created a long backlog. However, there are efforts from the Office of the Staff Attorney to address this backlog. It is important that a Ninth Circuit Appeals Attorney prepare an exceptionally clear brief of the legal issues and emphasize the questions of law. Immigration cases take a heavy caseload of cases heard by the Ninth Circuit.
What happens if I lose my case at the Ninth Circuit?
If the Ninth Circuit denies your appeal then it is basically the end of the road for your case. The only option is to either file a new case from the beginning or file a motion to reopen your Immigration Court case. If you fail to do either of this, then you will be removed from the United States if the Immigration Court had ordered you removed.