If your petition or application was denied by USCIS, you may be eligible to appeal the denial to the Board of Immigration Appeals, Administrative Appeals Office, or EOIR Immigration Court; however, where you file your appeal depends upon the type of application and whether you have grounds to file an appeal.
If your case was denied by the EOIR Immigration Court and you have grounds for appeal, then you have 30 days to file your appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. If your case is subsequently denied by the Board of Immigration Appeals, you may be eligible to appeal the decision to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction over your case.
An immigration attorney can advise of any grounds that exist for appeal, changes in the law, and relief that was previously unavailable to the person at the time of their last hearing, as well as filing the required documentation to preserve a person’s rights on appeal.
A person is placed into removal proceedings when a Notice to Appear is issued against them. The Notice to Appear will state the allegations against the person and the charge under which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is seeking to have to person removed from the U.S. At the first master hearing, the Immigration Judge will read the allegations and charge of removability against the person and ask the person if they want to enter a plea or have time to hire an attorney. The Department of Homeland Security may also present any evidence that they have to support the allegations at this time if the person denies the allegations against them. If a translator is necessary at the hearing, the Immigration Court will provide one either in person or by telephone. A person may hire an attorney to represent them in removal proceedings, but the Immigration Court will not pay for the expense to hire the attorney. However, the immigration attorney can help the person determine if he or she has any relief from removal available.
Anyone who is a U.S. citizen may file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of their spouse, child, or if the person petitioning is over the age of 21, a parent or sibling. A person who is a legal permanent resident of the U.S. may only file immigrant visa petitions on behalf of their spouse or an unmarried child. However, the person petitioning must be able to prove that the relationship claimed qualifies the relative within their visa category according to the terms of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act.
The most common way to obtain permanent resident status is by filing an application for adjustment of status with either USCIS or the EOIR Immigration Court. Typically, an application for adjustment of status is filed along with an immigrant visa petition that has already been approved on the person’s behalf, although there are times when a person can file for adjustment of status at the same time that an immigrant visa petition is filed on their behalf. There are also other circumstances that may arise, which allow a person to apply for adjustment of status on another basis before USCIS or file an application for cancellation of removal and adjustment of status in the Immigration Court. A person could also seek overseas processing at a U.S. Embassy abroad if they are eligible for an immigrant visa. Due to the complexity of immigration law, a person should seek advice from an attorney if they believe that they are eligible to adjust their status to that of a legal permanent resident or want to find out if it is possible to become eligible for adjustment.
Throughout the immigration process, a person typically comes into contact with multiple government agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), U.S. State Department - National Visa Center (NVC), U.S. Embassies abroad, and the Department of Justice - Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR Immigration Court). An immigration attorney can guide a person through the interagency dealings to ensure that a person’s rights are protected and provide counsel on the types of relief and applications available to him or her. Immigration law is a complex area to navigate by oneself, and understanding it can be further complicated by language barriers. An immigration attorney provides counsel in various aspects of immigration law including, the process to become a legal permanent resident or a naturalized U.S. citizen, how to obtain employment, immigrant, and non-immigrant visas to the U.S., and help in determining if a person has any relief from removal when they are before the Immigration Court or if they are eligible for bond when they are in the custody of USICE. An Immigration attorney can also determine if a person has a right to appeal a decision from USCIS or the Immigration Court.