What To Do if Your Immigration Case is Denied?

 

Don’t give up hope!

We understand the importance of your immigration case. Your right to live in the United States may impact your family, your career, perhaps even your safety. A denial can shake your confidence and raise your anxiety level. But don’t let the denial cause you to give up hope.

What is the best path forward after an immigration denial?

You want to overcome the denial and ultimately win your immigration case. The best path to approval depends on the details of your immigration case. To determine the best course of action, our immigration lawyers will need to know, for instance, what type of immigration case you have, why your case was denied, when the case was denied, whether there is new evidence you can submit, and whether your circumstances have changed.

Refiling your immigration case

Maybe your immigration case had an unsuccessful outcome because your lawyer was ineffective. Perhaps you tried to apply for immigration benefits on your own, without the help of an immigration lawyer. If so, sometimes the best course of action is simply to refile your immigration case. Refiling a better prepared immigration case could be the solution if your case was poorly prepared the first time.

Appealing your immigration case to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO)

If your immigration case is denied by USCIS, you may have an opportunity to appeal this decision. An appeal is a request to a higher authority to review a decision. The denial notice contains information about whether the decision may be appealed and where to file your appeal. Generally the applicant is given 30 days to file the appeal. To file an appeal, you will need to complete a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Keep in mind that for family-based visa petitions, only the petitioner may file an appeal, not the beneficiary.

Filing a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider

A motion to reopen asks the the original decision-maker–USCIS or the Immigration Judge, for instance–to reopen and review a negative decision. A motion to reopen must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances. It must state new facts, and be supported by additional documentary evidence.

In Immigration Court, due process requires the court to provide you with adequate notice of the hearing. If you have a deportation order that was issued at a hearing that you didn’t attend–a so-called in absentia order of removal–you can file a motion to reopen the deportation order based on lack of notice. This is a typical scenario in our office.

If your immigration case was denied due to abandonment, i.e., you failed to respond timely to a request made by USCIS, a motion to reopen may be filed if it can be shown that the requested evidence was not material, or had already been submitted, or that any requests by USCIS were not sent to the address of record.

N-336: Request for a Hearing on a Decision in Naturalization Proceedings

If your N-400 application for naturalization is denied, then you may want to consider filing an N-336. An N-336 is a type of appeal specific to the application for naturalization (citizenship).

As with other applications, if USCIS denies your N-400 application for naturalization, it will send you a notice of denial explaining why it reached a negative decision. The notice will include a statement explaining your right to either accept the denial or request an administrative hearing for review. If you decide to request a hearing, you will need to submit a Form N-336 to USCIS within 30 days of receiving the decision denying your N-400.

Often an N-336 hearing closely resembles the ordinary naturalization interview that all N-400 applicants attend. The N-336 hearing is also conducted by a USCIS immigration officer. To challenge the denial, you file a Form N-336 and, at the hearing, you provide persuasive evidence that the grounds for denial were erroneous.

Our immigration lawyers generally take a skeptical view of the N-336. Our experience has taught us that filing a new N-400 is often a better path to citizenship after an N-400 denial. But of course,the best strategy depends on your specific situation and why USCIS denied your naturalization application.

Deportation or Removal Order in Immigration Court

If you were put into removal proceedings in immigration court and the judge ordered you to be deported, i.e, an order of removal, here are some possible options:

Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)

You can challenge the unfavorable decision by filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the highest administrative court, which reviews immigration court decisions. Subject to certain exceptions, an appeal to the BIA must be filed within 30 days of the negative ruling. In most cases, when you file an appeal, you are arguing to the BIA that the immigration judge who conducted your hearing made an error of law or fact.

Petition for Review with Federal Court

A petition for review is filed to obtain federal court review of a decision issued by the Board of Immigration Appeals. The petition typically must be filed within 30 days of the most recent decision made on the case. From there, the federal circuit court will issue a briefing schedule. Often a petition for review of a BIA decision is the final step in the appeals process.

Motions to Reopen

If you have a deportation order in your immigration history, you may want to hire an immigration attorney to file a motion to reopen your case. If a motion to reopen is granted, it can result in previous orders of removal or deportation being vacated or stayed (that is, put on hold) and the immigration court granting you a new hearing. It’s incredibly important to assess with an immigration attorney whether it’s worth submitting a motion to reopen.

Motions to Reconsider

A motion to reconsider is filed with the same immigration judge who issued the order of removal or deportation. The filing deadline is generally within 30 days of the negative ruling. In a motion to reconsider, you inform the judge of an aspect of the case you believe was overlooked and asked them to evaluate this information again when making his or her ruling on the matter. As you can imagine, this type of motion is not often successful.

Stay of Removal or Deportation

A stay of deportation or removal is not an appeal. A stay doesn’t challenge the deportation order itself. But if you are subject to a final order of deportation, by requesting a stay, you are asking the Department of Homeland Security to refrain from removing you from the United States. It can be filed with ICE administratively, or with  the Board of Immigration Appeals or a Federal Court. The stay of removal is requested using Form I-246.

Our Los Angeles Immigration Lawyers Can Help You

Don’t let a denial or deportation be the end of your immigration case. Your immigration status is worth the fight! And our experienced immigration attorneys are ready to help you come up with the best strategy to overcome the denial. Call us today at 213-262-2000 to schedule a consultation.