If you are an immigrant and your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denied, you can appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The AAO has jurisdiction over approximately 50 different types of petitions and applications regarding immigration. The most common types are permission to reapply for entry into the United States after being deported, non-immigrant visa applications, and employment-based applications. Below, our Illinois immigration lawyer explains more about the appeals process and how we can help.
If the USCIS has denied your application, they will send you a letter explaining why you were not approved. If you are able to appeal the decision, the letter will include instructions about how to do so. In most cases, you must file a Form I-290B with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service. Some appeal cases have different requirements, so it is important to review the letter carefully. A lawyer can review your letter and identify a USCIS officer’s mistake of fact or law that forms the basis of the appeal.
The majority of appeals must be filed within 30 calendar days after being informed of the denial. If you were informed of the denial through the mail, you have 33 calendar days to file your appeal. Some decisions have an even shorter time to appeal of 15 days. The letter sent to you by the USCIS will indicate how long you have to file the appeal.
Currently, the majority of AAO appeals cost $675 to file. If you cannot pay the fee, you can ask for the fee to be waived. The USCIS may agree to waive the fee if any of the following are true:
If you do not qualify for an appeal, you must include the filing fee with your application, or it will be denied.
The majority of appeals take approximately six months. Of course, sometimes it can take longer. For example, the AAO may need you to provide additional documents, or your case may involve complicated factors that require further review. The AAO typically handles cases in the order they are received. Still, if you are experiencing an emergency, such as immediate deportation, you may be able to get your case expedited.
If you need to appeal an unfavorable immigration decision, our Illinois immigration lawyer can help you do it. At Sverdloff Law Group, we have helped many clients successfully appeal decisions, and we can put that expertise to work for you. Call us now or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more about how we can help with your case.
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