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The Board of Immigration Appeals take the final administrative action of decisions made by USCIS and Immigration Court. The BIA may agree with actions taken by USCIS or an Immigration judge, or they may reverse the decision. 

The BIA handles cases where an I-130 is denied and the petitioner appeals to the BIA. If for instance, the BIA makes an unfavorable decision, the petitioner can then appeal that decision to the Federal District Court. While the BIA is charged with adjudicating cases from the immigration courts and USCIS I-130 family-based petitions, The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) is charged with other appeals of decisions from USCIS. 

Appeal of USCIS Decision to Deny an I-130

Form I-130 is a petition to USCIS to bring family members to live in the United States. Those family members include spouses and children, as well as parents and siblings. USCIS can deny an I-130 due to procedural mistakes such as failing to pay an application fee or lack of evidence submitted. They can also deny petitions for more serious issues such as fraud. USCIS denials can have profoundly serious consequences and can lead to permanent bans and deportations. If your case is denied by USCIS, contact an immigration attorney.

Process of Filing an Appeal

Appealing an I-130 denial consists of an attorney filing a Notice of Appeal to the USCIS field office which made the final decision on the I-130 application. The I-130 appeal must be filed within 30 days of the USCIS decision. A brief and supporting documents and evidence must then be filed within 30 days of the filing of the Notice of Appeal. Once the USCIS field office receives the Notice of Appeal and accompanying briefs and supporting documents, they determine whether the appeal overcomes the grounds for denial. The field office then prepares a Record of Proceeding. This consists of evidence and the brief submitted by the attorney and evidence and documents relied upon by USCIS in rendering its decision. The Record of Proceeding is then reviewed by USCIS’ attorneys working on behalf of the government. They prepare arguments against the petitioner. The file is then sent to the Board of Immigration appeals for review.

How long Does an Appeal Take?

The BIA normally issues a decision within 6 months of receiving the file, however experience has shown that it can take longer. In some cases, filing a new Form I-130 in addition to filing an appeal could be a good route to take. Contact an experienced immigration attorney to come up with the best strategy specific for your situation. We will expertly represent you and fight to reverse the negative decision. 

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