How to File a Deportation Appeal

If you have been deported from the U.S., you have a right to appeal the decision. To do so, you are encouraged to get a lawyer who is well-versed in the laws regarding immigration. Consider how the process should go before you decide to appeal.

Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals

You need to officially file a Notice of Appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). You can do this by mail after filling out the proper form that you can get from the court, or you can appear in-person if preferred. Either way, you must file before the deadline, or else your appeal may not be considered.

On this form, you will have room to discuss the grounds for the appeal, or the reason you should be able to stay in the U.S. You will also need to state whether you will file a brief, which can support your appeal and is therefore encouraged.

Wait for the Decision from the BIA

You should get a receipt from the BIA that will let you know that it received your appeal. You might also get a briefing schedule at this time, which will let you and your lawyer know the deadline for the brief. Transcripts may be sent at this time, too, which will let you know what has occurred during the proceedings.

If you wish to stay in the country during this time, you may be able to get a stay of deportation as you wait for the appeal to be answered. This means you can continue working, going to school, and living life as usual while you wait for a decision. Of course, if you are considered dangerous or a flight risk, you may be kept in custody while a decision is made.

Help Your Case

The BIA may request an oral argument that lets the panel know why you should be able to stay in the U.S. You will be notified of this in advance, so you and your lawyer should prepare a statement ahead of time if you want to help increase your chances of staying in the country. A reputable immigration lawyer should be able to work with you to formulate what he or she should say during the oral argument.

Appeal a Denial

If the BIA happens to deny the appeal, you can take your case to federal circuit court of appeals in your area. If the decision is still against you, it is possible to take the case to the Supreme Court, but it is very unlikely that you will get a chance to do this since this court does not tend to hear immigration cases.

Your best bet is usually to find an experienced immigration lawyer to help you. At the very least, you should prepare for the appeals process as much as possible. You should also keep in mind that it can take months or even a few years to finally hear the decision of the appeal, so be prepared to be patient.