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Immigration Law Blog

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Appealing a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Decision

For many foreign nationals wishing to enter or remain in the U.S., a decision made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be life changing.  While a denial of an application can be devastating in certain situations, it is not the final word in most immigration processes since, in most cases, the applicant can appeal the USCIS' decision.

The USCIS and related federal departments are often understaffed and highly systematized. This means that applications may be denied due to minor glitches and oversights.  Often, applications are denied simply because the applicant is unaware of the exact criteria the federal government uses when reviewing the hundreds of thousands of immigration-related applications it receives each year.

Once a denial is issued, an immigration attorney can handle your appeal by ensuring that deadlines are met.  You’ll need to both reserve your appeal and file your Notice of Appeal, according to strict timelines, and ensure your fees are paid on time. Your attorney can also draft your legal appellate brief and, if necessary, represent you in oral arguments before the Board of Immigration Appeals, both of which may involve:

  • Demonstrating possible errors made on the part of the USCIS in its review of your application;
  • Presenting additional information; and
  • Arguing that your constitutional rights were violated.

By working with an immigration attorney you can avoid errors and strategically address deficiencies, omissions and court errors associated with your denied application.

An immigration attorney can also assist when delays become unreasonable.

Applicants have the right to expect that the USCIS, as a federal agency, provide a decision in a timely fashion at any step in the legal process. If you do not receive a decision from the USCIS within a reasonable time frame, an immigration attorney can work to order the USCIS to complete the process and issue a decision.

To learn more about your right to appeal or contest a decision or delay caused by the USCIS, contact an experienced immigration attorney.
 


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