The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the administrative appellate review body that primarily hears appeals from cases that have already been decided by judges in immigration court. It’s part of the Executive Office of Administrative Review that is located in Falls Church, VA. No actual courtroom proceedings occur at the BIA. Cases are almost always decided on the basis of the paperwork previously filed by the parties to a case. Appellate briefs by the parties can be filed and considered. The parties would typically be the United States, a citizen or alien
Types of BIA Cases
When most BIA decisions are made, they’re subject to review by the U.S. District Court that has jurisdiction over that geographical area. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, most of these cases involve either removal, relief from removal, exclusion from admission to the U.S. or classification of status of alien relatives. Both you and the U.S. government have the right to file a BAI case, so don’t be surprised of you find yourself in the position of defending against the government’s appeal if a ruling or part of a ruling operates against its interests.
Filing a BIA Appeal
The filing of a BIA appeal requires a certain notice that is mailed to BIA. It’s known as Notice of Appeal From a Decision of an Immigration Judge (Form EOIR-26). A $110 filing fee must accompany the notice. If you can’t afford the fee, you can ask for a waiver of it. Any material that supports your appeal can accompany your notice. We don’t encourage you to stop there. We strongly recommend consulting with and retaining the California Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers to give yourself or your family member the best possible chance of prevailing on appeal. We would submit legal brief that details all legal arguments in favor of your position along with the statutes, regulations and cases that support them.
The 30-Day Rule
Don’t misinterpret the 30-day rule on how long you have to file a BIA appeal. Your Notice of Appeal, filing fee and any supporting documents must be received by the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days of the date that the immigration judge rendered his or her decision. If you receive the decision by mail, the Notice of Appeal must be received by the Board of Immigration Appeals within 30 days of the date that that the decision was mailed to you. The 30-day rule is a strict rule. Late appeals will be dismissed. If the 30th day for filing falls on a Saturday, Sunday or a federal holiday, you have one extra business day to file. If you intend to appeal a BAI decision, be sure to do so well ahead of time with proper postage and proof of service. For a few dollars more, Federal Express or USPS next day mailing might be a wise choice.
The Briefing Schedule
If our law firm files the Notice of Appeal on your behalf, we’ll receive a receipt from BAI in about two weeks. A briefing schedule will then be forwarded to all attorneys. We’ll be allowed 30 days to file our brief and additional supporting documents, and the government will be given 30 days to file its response. The BAI will make a decision on the appeal sometime in the future. It might take longer than a year. It’s highly likely that you will be allowed to remain in the U.S. during the pendency of your appeal if yours is a deportation case. If you leave the U.S. before your appeal is decided, the appeal will be considered abandoned, and it will be dismissed.
Consider any appeal urgent because of the 30-day rule. Contact the California Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law immediately on any decision by you or the government to appeal your case. Remember that the 30-day rule is strictly interpreted.