It is frightening and confusing to have USCIS or an immigration judge deny your application for an immigration benefit. If you have already gone through immigration court proceedings and lost your case you may be facing deportation. There may still be the ability to fix your case and challenge the decision.
What does it mean to file an appeal? What is a motion to reopen? What is a motion to reconsider? These are various ways of challenging the decision of USCIS or the immigration judge. Each procedure has specific legal requirements and important deadlines. Only an experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorney will understand the legal requirements and strategic considerations to best enable you to win your case.
An appeal asks a higher authority to review and reverse a decision, and typically must be filed within 30 days of the decision. There are few and limited exceptions to this timing rule. A motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider asks the same authority to review and reverse its own decision. Motions to reconsider must be made within 30 days of the decision, and motions to reopen usually must be made within 90 days of the decision. Motions to reopen are usually made when there is new evidence to present that is relevant to the specific case but was not previously available. Motions to reconsider are most commonly filed when the decision-maker (whether USCIS or a court) wrongly applied the law.
If you have received a wrong or unfair decision, or if new circumstances might change the case, attorney Lynn S. Olinger will help you plan your next steps. Attorney Olinger specializes in complex immigration problems, and has years of federal litigation experience. We will perform an in-depth legal analysis, anticipate the government’s arguments, and plan case contingencies.