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Board of Immigration Appeals

Board of Immigration Appeals

Board of Immigration Appeals

In the US, not all matters related to immigration require court time. In most cases, you have to fill out forms and file the correct documentation, which can itself be a lengthy task. However, if the decision for an application comes back negative and the applicant desires re-evaluation, the applicant must file an appeal. The appeal can eventually move to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), which is the highest body that can apply immigration laws in the US, unless circumstances allow for the case to go through the appellate courts.

Seal of the United States Department of JusticeThe BIA is part of the Department of Justice and can review the decisions in immigration courts, those related to violations under Immigration and Border Enforcement (ICE) and Protection, as well as other decisions under citizenship and immigration. The BIA conducts appeals through a paper review, thereby not needing to go through a court process. Many of the cases the BIA handles to deal with the impending removal of immigrants and reconsideration of immigration decisions. In order to argue a case in front of the BIA you do not need to be an immigration lawyer; however, those who are not lawyers must have other relevant accreditations.

Any decision reached by the BIA is binding on all immigration judges and officers. However, as previously mentioned, if the decision is appealed through the federal appellate court system, it is possible for a federal judge to overrule the BIA’s decision. The BIA itself is made up of Board Members who manage the process and is currently located in Virginia. The members are judges who have been appointed to these positions by the Attorney General.

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