Board of Immigration Appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body within the Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States Department of Justice. The BIA is located within the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.

BIA decisions are taken by single panel members, and by three member panels in limited circumstances. A single panel member can also use a process called "summary affirmance", to affirm decisions by USCIS or an immigration judge.

Some decisions, such as those on family-based visa petitions under section § 204(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), orders of removal, denials of applications for relief from removal, requests for political asylum, cancellation of conditional resident status, requests for Waivers of Grounds of Inadmissibility, motions to reopen, and motions to reconsider of decisions previously rendered, can be appealed to the BIA.

BIA decisions designated for publication are printed in bound volumes entitled "Administrative Decisions Under Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States". In addition, the BIA is responsible for the recognition of organizations and accreditation of representatives requesting permission to practice before DHS, the immigration courts, and the BIA.

Thus, the BIA does not conduct courtroom proceedings, but reviews the decisions of the U.S. Immigration Courts, some decisions of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and immigration violation arrests by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The BIA has also been given nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals from certain decisions rendered by immigration judges and by district directors of the DHS.

Your denial notice will provide information about whether the decision may be appealed or where to file your appeal. With certain exceptions, you may file a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider if you received an unfavorable decision. If the adjudicating officer determines that reopening or reconsidering the decision is not warranted, the officer will forward the case for further review to the BIA. A notice of appeal must be filed with the BIA within 30 days of the immigration judge's decision.

Generally, the BIA decides case on the papers (without a hearing) and, on rare occasions, it hears oral arguments of appealed cases, predominately at headquarters. Decisions issued by the BIA are the final administrative action in a given case and are binding on all DHS officers and immigration judges unless modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a Federal Court.

If the BIA affirms the lower Court's decision, you can still appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

If you lost your case and you were ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge, you have to hire an experienced immigration attorney to fight your case and file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals.

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