Board Of Immigration Appeals

Deportation Defense & Appeals


The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is a powerful and influential agency in the United States. It is one of the chief voices in the world of American immigration, with authority to overrule decisions made by immigration judges and other immigration agencies.

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is a powerful and influential agency in the United States. It is one of the chief voices in the world of American immigration, with authority to overrule decisions made by immigration judges and other immigration agencies.

If an immigration judge denies your case, you have the right to file an appeal with the BIA. You might also have the right to file an appeal with the BIA if the USCIS denied your case. 

What Is the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is an agency under the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). It’s a specialized department with the highest authority in interpreting and exercising immigration laws. It has a broad reach, capable of affecting decisions made across the entire nation. It typically handles appeals of deportation cases and denied immigrant visa petitions.

To give you a better idea of its function, imagine that you’re in the middle of removal proceedings. To avoid deportation, you’re seeking some form of immigration relief. During the merits hearing — where you present your case to the immigration court — the immigration judge rejects your case. Even if their decision isn’t in your favor, you still have time to attempt an appeal.

That’s where the BIA comes in. Within 30 days of the judge’s decision, you can ask the BIA to take a second look at your case. The BIA can overturn the judge’s decision. However, if the BIA also rejects your appeal, you might still have an option to appeal. First, you’ll need to bring your case to federal court. If the high court still rejects your appeal, you may have no choice but to accept the decision. 

Remember that even if the judge decided in your favor, the U.S. government could also exercise its right to appeal. 

How Do I File an Appeal to the BIA?

You can file an appeal to the BIA by using Form EOIR-29. The form’s official title is “Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer.”

You can send supporting documents along with Form EOIR-29. You also can submit a case brief after filing, as long as you indicate your intent to do so on the form. This brief should contain the arguments in your favor and the laws that support your arguments. Submitting a brief will help the BIA review the facts of your case instead of only seeing the decision of an immigration officer or judge. 

Other documents or fees you need to include when filing are:

  • A copy of your denial letter from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Immigration Judge
  • The non-refundable filing fee (currently $110). You can pay electronically through the EOIR’s Payment Portal or by sending a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 
  • If you can’t afford the fee, include Form EOIR-26A, “Fee Waiver Request.”
  • If a lawyer is representing you, include Form EOIR-27, “Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative Before the Board of Immigration Appeals.”

Send your documents via the U.S. Postal Service, courier, overnight delivery, or hand delivery to the following street address: 

Board of Immigration Appeals
Clerk’s Office
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 2000
Falls Church, VA 22041

Pay close attention to the deadline, as late appeals will be outright rejected. You have 30 days starting from when the immigration judge’s decision was made. If the decision wasn’t issued in court but was mailed to you, begin counting from the date it was mailed. Include Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays in your calculations. However, if the deadline falls on a federal holiday or a weekend, it will fall on the first business day after instead. 

It’s your responsibility to ensure that the BIA receives your appeal before the 30-day deadline. If possible, use courier and overnight delivery services. To minimize risk, use the right postage and double-check the mailing labels and other materials. 

What Is the Timeline of My Appeal to the BIA?

The timeline of your BIA appeal can stretch over months or years. However, when the BIA receives your appeal, you should receive a receipt notice within two weeks. If you don’t receive a receipt, contact the BIA to clarify what happened. 

The BIA will then set a briefing schedule. You’ll typically have around 30 days to file your brief. The opposing party will then receive 30 days to respond to your brief. In certain cases, this deadline can be extended up to 90 days. Unlike a typical court case, BIA reviews are conducted on paper. There are no live proceedings, only the review of written documentation.

After the BIA has received the submissions of both sides, it will make a decision. This is the longest part of the process, which can sometimes last months or years. Thankfully, you have the right to remain in the country while waiting for the BIA’s decision. However, your appeal may be automatically canceled if you leave the country before the BIA makes a decision. 

Next Steps

Navigating immigration law is often complex, especially if you need to appeal an unfavorable decision to the BIA. You must follow strict deadlines and requirements. Even minor mistakes can lead to your case being denied, even if it would have otherwise been approved.

To maximize your chances of approval, you need an experienced and competent immigration attorney to fight for your case. Feel free to reach out to us at Reeves Immigration Law Group for a confidential consultation about your case today.


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(626) 795-6777

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(415) 568-3777


(925) 310-5080


+011 (63) 917-622-2971


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