If you are a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you can petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your immediate relatives to join you in the United States. Using Form I-130, you can petition for your relative to be granted a green card.
The USCIS ultimately makes the decision to approve or deny your petition for your family member to receive a permanent residency card, also known as a green card. If you open your letter and see that your petition was denied, do not lose hope. You should instead ask yourself, “Can I appeal a USCIS decision?”
The answer is yes. By using form EOIR-29, you may be able to reverse the denial by presenting a Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In this article, we will discuss what to do when your Form I-130 is denied and how to file for a form EOIR-29 Board of Immigration Appeals Address.
Before we discuss how to appeal the USCIS decision for denial, it is helpful to recognize potential reasons why your Form I-130 could have been denied. This way, you will be able to present evidence along with your EOIR-29 to counter denial reasons.
Two of the main reasons why your Form I-130 may have been denied are:
Since the USCIS runs a biometric exam — which includes a background check — on incoming petitioners, having your I-130 denied for a criminal record may not be unreasonable. If the person you are petitioning for has a criminal record, immigration may be denied. Speak to your immigration lawyer about possible options for you and steps you may be able to take to show reformation.
EOIR stands for the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The EOIR contains the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). EOIR is an agency that is a part of the United States Department of Justice.
The Board of Immigration Appeals is part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The BIA has national jurisdiction over decisions made by immigration judges or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If an appeal is given to the BIA, they can either:
If you are requesting a notice of appeal because of an immigration judge’s decision, you will file Form EOIR-26. However, filing a Notice of Appeal for a decision made by USCIS because of their denial of your Form I-130 requires submission of Form EOIR-29.
The only people who can represent you if you submit an appeal to the BIA are licensed attorneys or certified BIA representatives.
Form EOIR-29 is officially known as a Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer. It is the official document needed for a BIA address to appeal the USCIS’s decision of a Form I-130 or Form I-360 denial. Form I-130 is a petition for a relative/family member whereas Form I-360 is the Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant.
An appeal is a request for another person or legal entity to review the decision that you received. When an immigration officer denies your application for a green card, you will proceed with Form EOIR-29 in order to dispute the denial. With the Notice of Appeal, you can present your case to a different authority, the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Any family member or other eligible relative who has been denied a green card using Form I-130 or Form I-360 files Form EOIR-29. One of the most common reasons for denial, as stated above, is the suspicion of a fraudulent marriage. If you are married and did not have enough evidence to share that your marriage is bona fide — that is, in good faith — you may be denied and need to file a Form EOIR-29.
It is important to note that Form EOIR-26 is a Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge. These forms are two different processes. Form EOIR-29 is for a decision made by the USCIS, not an immigration judge. If you have any questions regarding which form you should fill out to appeal an immigration decision, reach out to the attorneys at our law office. We are happy to speak with you about the correct documentation needed for a Notice of Appeal.
You need to file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days of obtaining your denial. The actual Form EOIR-29 asks for your information and that of your denied form. It is recommended that you fill out your Notice of Appeal with the help of an immigration attorney. Any mishap on the form will result in a denial. The filing fee is $110. It is crucial to include a copy of your denial letter from USCIS.
The form includes a list of instructions and information for what needs to be done in regard to filling out the form and how to pay. It also includes facts about the process — including that, except under certain circumstances, most appeals are reviewed by a single Board member.
Under 8 C.F.R § 1003.3(c)(2), you can file a brief at the same time you submit your Form EOIS-29. Because BIA cases do not typically happen in person, you can present a brief stating your argument on why the USCIS officer’s decision should be changed.
When you receive a decision letter from USCIS, you will be able to see if your USCIS case status is denied or accepted. If your USCIS case status is denied, your decision letter will provide instructions on where to send your Board of Immigration Appeals address.
If denied, your immigration attorney will send a Form EOIR-29 Notice of Appeal to the USCIS office that denied your Form I-130. Ultimately, your EOIR-29 will be sent to the BIA, but USCIS–not you or your attorney—will forward your Notice of Appeal.
After someone has stated their case using form EOIR-29, we often get the question “how long does it take for an immigration appeal?” BIA decisions typically take around six months, but they can take longer. There is no exact time required for the BIA to make their decision, so while 180 days is typical, the process can take up to 18 months.
After you submit your EOIS-29, the BIA will send you and/or your attorney your briefing schedule. Your attorney must then send in a brief, if applicable, and supporting documents no more than 30 days after the initial Notice of Appeal. The BIA will proceed with their decision after your original form is accepted and supporting documents are sent in.
The BIA looks at each case separately, and the Board will review your documents. This usually happens outside of a courtroom. It is very rare that an appeal is made in the court at the Falls Church, Virginia headquarters, but it can happen. Because the BIA looks at each Notice of Appeal on a case-by-case basis, the process will take time to ensure accuracy and proper judgment.
In some cases, the USCIS appeal processing time may take longer than the time it would take to refile a Form I-130. Just because your Form I-130 was denied does not mean you can re-petition for your family member. Consult with your immigration lawyer about whether to file a form EOIR-29 or to refile Form I-130.
You may have been a newly married couple when your Form I-130 was denied. If you are under the impression that your Form I-130 was denied due to a lack of sufficient evidence that your marriage is legitimate, you may consider refiling. Refiling is an alternative to appealing your case. It may be in your best interest to refile after a period of time when you can show USCIS that your marriage is lawful and valid.
Gathering photographs, mortgage or lease payments, and/or other documents solidifying your marriage to send in with a new Form I-130 may prove to USCIS that, after a certain amount of time, you are in fact in the United States lawfully.
Refiling rather than raising an appeal can be an option. But it may be better for your chances to file an appeal. Factors for each depend on your individual circumstances, so you should speak with your lawyer about which choice is better for you.
If you use an immigration lawyer, they need to include a Form EOIR-27, as the form notifies the court that you have retained an attorney. This is important because the only people allowed to represent you in submitting appeals to the BIA are licensed attorneys or certified BIA representatives.
There are a couple of ways to check immigration appeal status. The EOIR eFiling system is available to check your case status. You can also call 1-800-898-7180 for case status information.
The BIA phone number for BIA decisions and information is 703-605-1007.
Though you most likely will not go to a physical courtroom for your EOIR-29, general questions at appeal hearings may include:
Form I-290B is a Notice of Appeal or Motion that is filed to USCIS. It handles appeals with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). It is also used to file a motion:
Form I-290B processing time with USCIS is between six months to two years.
When filing a Notice of Appeal to the BIA for your Form I-130, you do not file using Form I-290B.
If the USCIS denied your request for a DACA consideration, you cannot file a motion to appeal if you are denied. You can, however, request a review by the USCIS.
Familiar with the EOIR, Chicago immigration and naturalization attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. are here to answer any questions you may have about your case denial and filing a Form EOIR-29 to request an appeal.
We are available to help and work with you to be united with your family. With over 70 years of combined experience, our attorneys will be able to provide the legal assistance you need. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today.View Similar Articles