The AAO is the Administrative Appeals Office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The office decides appeals from a wide range of unfavorable decisions that have been made by adjudication officers from the USCIS. The decisions that the AAO renders are typically not precedential in that it applies existing law and policy to the facts and circumstances surrounding a case before it. Regardless of the fact that AAO decisions are not precedential, those decisions are binding on the parties to them.
Different Branches Hear Different Appeals
The AAO has several branches that hear specific types of appeals. A timely Notice of Appeal must be filed, along with the appeal itself. The AAO doesn’t set briefing schedules.
A few examples of the types of appeals that the AAO hears follow:
- Employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant visa petitions.
- Appeals alleging breaches of ICE security bonds.
- Fiancé petition appeals.
- T and U Visa appeals.
- Applications for readmission after removal.
- Applications for Waiver of grounds for admissibility.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing an Appeal?
Yes, there is a time limit. The general rule is that the appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of personal service of the decision. If such service was by mail, the appeal must be filed within 33 days after the date of mailing. Take notice that these are calendar days, so weekend days count. If the 30th day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, filing time is extended to the end of the next day. A filing fee of $675 must accompany the appeal. A fee waiver might be sought by filing a Form I-912.
How Long Does an AAO Appeal Take?
The AAO generally targes 180 days from the date of receipt of a case record to decide an appeal. Some appeals might take longer, especially if the AAO has a large caseload or the issues involved in a particular appeal are highly complex. Expedited processing is available under certain circumstances.
Contact a California Immigration Lawyer Today.
The requirements for the drafting, filing and bringing effective and successful appeals are complex and confusing. Although the law permits it, don’t try to bring an AAO appeal on your own. Contact Maison Law Immigration Lawyers for a consultation on discussing the best course of action for you. We’re in Bakersfield and handle cases throughout the Central Valley. As strict deadlines for bringing appeals exist, it’s critical that you take action on bringing your appeal right away. We want to help you with your dream of living and working in the United States.