IMMIGRATION APPELLATE ATTORNEY
Types of immigration appeals: there are different appellate processes for immigrants. These processes are dependent upon the nature of the immigrant’s petition or application, whether the person has a valid immigration status, and whether that immigrant is detained in an immigration detention facility. There are five main types of immigration appeals: 1) AAO; 2) BIA; 3) criminal alien appeals, habeas corpus, mandamus and apa actions; 4) petitions for review to u.s. courts of appeals; and 5) motion to reconsider/motion to reopen.
Petitioners and applicants for certain categories of immigration benefits may appeal an unfavorable decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The AAO conducts administrative review of those appeals to ensure consistency and accuracy in the interpretation of immigration law and policy. The AAO generally issues appellate decisions as non-precedent decisions, which apply existing law and policy to the facts of a given case. After review by the Attorney General, the AAO may also issue precedent decisions to provide guidance to adjudicators and the public on the proper interpretation and administration of immigration law and policy.
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. It is authorized 23 Appellate Immigration Judges, including a Chief Appellate Immigration Judge and one or two Deputy Chief Appellate Immigration Judges. The BIA is located at EOIR headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia. Generally, the BIA does not conduct courtroom proceedings - it decides appeals by conducting a "paper review" of cases. On rare occasions, however, the BIA hears oral arguments of appealed cases, predominately at headquarters.
The BIA has been given nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals from certain decisions rendered by Immigration Judges and by district directors of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a wide variety of proceedings in which the Government of the United States is one party and the other party is an alien, a citizen, or a business firm.
BIA decisions are binding on all DHS officers and Immigration Judges unless modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a federal court. Most BIA decisions are subject to judicial review in the federal courts. The majority of appeals reaching the BIA involve orders of removal and applications for relief from removal. Other cases before the BIA include the exclusion of aliens applying for admission to the United States, petitions to classify the status of alien relatives for the issuance of preference immigrant visas, fines imposed upon carriers for the violation of immigration laws, and motions for reopening and reconsideration of decisions previously rendered.