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USCIS Motion to Reconsider or Reopen

USCIS Motion to Reconsider or Reopen

Suppose you have sent in an immigration application and received a response stating, “notion of an unfavorable decision.” In that case, you may still have an opportunity to have your case reopened or reconsidered. These two options are frequently confused as the same action, but they are not. Both processes are complicated, so it is best to seek the help and support of an immigration attorney.

If an immigration benefit is denied, the applicant may file a motion to reconsider or reopen it with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District Director who denied their application.

Motions to reconsider are solely legal in nature and require well-reasoned arguments to establish that the denial was based on an incorrect application of the law. Motions to reopen may be filed in response to new evidence or changed circumstances.

On this page, you’ll find information about motions to reopen, motions to reconsider, and how they differ from filing an appeal. We will review the basics of appeals to better understand how motions to reopen and reconsider differ from the appeals process, and how they are similar. 

What Is A Motion to Appeal?

Also simply called an appeal, an immigration appeal is a request sent to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) for a different authority to review a decision made about your application. 

Immigration Appeal Process

When you receive a denial about your application, you can file an appeal within 30 days of the decision date. Your appeal will be sent to the AAO, and the USCIS office that granted the original decision to do a field review. Two things may then happen. The USCIS office will either:

  1. Make the appeal a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider, or;
  2. Treat the appeal as an appeal and send the request to the AAO

Consult with your immigration attorney about filing an appeal and whether you should request an appeal rather than a motion to reopen or reconsider.

What Is A USCIS Motion to Reconsider?

If you request a USCIS motion to reconsider, you are requesting that your unfavorable decision be reviewed with a new legal argument stating that USCIS made an incorrect decision.

Your motion will state why USCIS was legally in the wrong when they rejected your application. You must use the same evidence, meaning you can’t add new information to your application. Rather, you claim that USCIS did not apply the law or policy correctly when reviewing your application. You must prove that your evidence was and remains sufficient for approval.

Creating a legal argument against USCIS can be quite challenging . It is in your best interest to consult with an immigration attorney. We are experienced with immigration law and, if applicable, can build a strong case based on the current evidence presented with your application.

What Is A USCIS Motion to Reopen?

A USCIS motion to reopen asks the office that made the unfavorable decision to reopen your case. Unlike a motion to reconsider, USCIS allows you to present new facts and evidence proving your eligibility at the time of your application

If you are wondering if you can appeal deportation or other unfavorable decision, the answer is it depends

When USCIS denies your application, they will let you know why. When you present new evidence, it must be relevant to the reason your application was denied in the first place. You are providing USCIS with more information about why your application should be approved, and their reasoning can be challenged with new facts. 

USCIS requires affidavits or other documented evidence to support the “new facts.” As alluded to in the statement “new facts,” the evidence presented in the motion to reopen cannot be repeated. Instead, you need to support your argument with new evidence that has not previously been presented. 

USCIS Application Denied Due to Abandonment

If the USCIS ‘s unfavorable decision response to your application or petition was because of “abandonment,” you may be able to file for a motion to reopen the USCIS application. USCIS states four opportunities in which you can file a USCIS motion to reopen:

  1. If USCIS requested evidence, but the evidence was not material
  2. If USCIS requested evidence, but you submitted the evidence with your application
  3. You followed USCIS instructions in a timely manner when they requested your appearance or additional evidence
  4. The reason for the denial due to abandonment was that USCIS requests were sent to the wrong address, which was different from the address of record

 USCIS Reopened My Case. Now What?

What should I do now that USCIS has reopened my case? is a common question we receive. ” 

If USCIS reopen your case after your motion to reopen was approved, you will be able to present the new evidence you stated in Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. The USCIS office will then consider your newly presented facts.

The Difference Between A Motion to Reopen and Motion to Reconsider

The main difference between the two motions is that a motion to reopen presents new facts for consideration whereas a motion to reconsider does not. 

How a Motion to Reopen and a Motion to Reconsider Similar?

USCIS requires a form for both a motion to reopen and a motion to reconsider Form I-290B cannot be replaced by a submitted letter. You must also pay the required form fee unless you file a motion regarding asylum.

The Difference Between an Appeal and Motions to Reopen or Reconsider ?

Appeals and motions are frequently confused with one another. They are, however, not the same. 

When you file an appeal, you are requesting that your case be sent to a higher level of decision-making, whereas MTRs are sent to the same level. This is significant because some cases cannot be appealed. 

When USCIS sends you an unfavorable decision, it will include information about appeals or motions.

How to Appeal Immigration Decision: Filing an Appeal, Motion to Reconsider, or Motion to Reopen USCIS Decisions

The main similarity between all three options is that they all use the same form. Those appealing to have a decision reconsidered or reopened must fill out and submit Form I290-B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Your application should be submitted to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Those appealing a decision to be reconsidered or reopened must complete and submit Form I290-B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Your form should be filed with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). 

If your Form I-130 for Family Sponsorship is denied, you can file an EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal with the BIA to have the application reviewed.

However, you should not send your form directly to the AAO or BIA.

The address to which you send your USCIS motion to reopen, reconsider, or appeal is determined by the category of your appeal or motion. Was your application for adjustment of status, for example, or naturalization? Who made the decision on your application, a USCIS field office, a USCIS Service Center, a National Benefits Center, etc.? This information is crucial when sending an appeal or motion to reconsider or reopen. 

For more information, visit the USCIS Form I-290B Direct Filing Addresses website or ask your immigration attorney at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. today. 

Motions and Asylum

You may be able to file a motion if you have applied for political asylum and were denied. You will not be required to file Form I-290B or pay a filing fee. If you are the dependent of someone who was denied political asylum, you may file a motion to reopen or reconsider on their behalf. 

Processing Times

USCIS Appeal Processing Time

The USCIS appeal processing time may vary depending on which office makes the decision. For example, AAO may take up to six months to make a decision, whereas some USCIS service centers may take up to three months. 

Having said that, some cases may take less or more time. Talk to your immigration litigation lawyer about the estimated processing time for your motion to reopen, reconsider, or appeal, as well as their success rate with motions to reconsider . 

Motion to Reopen Processing Time

You can expect a response from the USCIS office within 90 days of filing your motion. This, like the USCIS appeal processing time, may be shortened, but it is more often extended.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

The support of a trusted attorney is invaluable when navigating the litigation process. If you have immigrated to the United States and are preparing to go to court, the specialists at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C. can help you. Call 312.444.1940 to speak with a member of our team right away.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!