Featured News 2016 Appealing a Negative Immigration Decision

Appealing a Negative Immigration Decision

The immigration process can seem daunting at times, especially for those who are entirely new to U.S. immigration laws. If you applied for a certain immigration benefit and received a negative decision, you have the right to file an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), but it's recommended that you do this with the help of an immigration attorney.

Under U.S. immigration law, certain petitioners and applicants who are seeking immigration benefits have the right to file an appeal with the AAO if they disagree with a negative decision. The AAO conducts an administrative review of any appeal to ensure the application or petition was handled in accordance with U.S. immigration law and policies.

Understanding the AAO's Jurisdiction

The Administrative Appeals Office has been given appellate jurisdiction over approximately 50 different types of immigration cases. However, not all immigration cases can be appealed, and some appeals are under the jurisdiction of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is associated with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The AAO is responsible for handling dozens of immigration appeals, including but not limited to:

  • Nonimmigrant visa petitions
  • Employment-based visa petitions
  • Immigrant petitions relating to alien entrepreneurs
  • Fiancé petitions
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS) cases
  • Permission to reapply for admission after being deported
  • Orphan petitions
  • T and U visa applications

Have you been denied an immigration benefit? If so, you should have received a letter explaining the reason why it was denied and if applicable, what you can do to file a motion or an appeal. Please note that most appeals have to be filed on Form I-290B within 30 days of the denial, and a fee is required.

Not all of the immigration categories are the same, some of the categories impose different requirements, so please contact an immigration lawyer as soon as possible and have him or her review your denial letter and explain the best way to file an appeal.

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