The Immigration Judge

What Happens If The Immigration Judge Denies My Case?

If you are out of status in the United States and the Department of Homeland Security wants to deport you, they will issue a document called a Notice to Appear in immigration court which starts the process of deportation. While you are in immigration court, you have an opportunity to file any application before the judge that will allow you to remain in the United States. But what happens if the immigration judge denies your case?

If your case is denied by the immigration judge, the judge will issue an order to remove you from the United States. You will have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals. This is an administrative court within the Department of Justice that sits in Virginia. This court reviews the immigration judge’s decision for any legal or factual mistakes. 

After filing the notice of appeal, the Board sends you the entire transcript of what happened before the immigration judge and sets a deadline by which you can submit any legal arguments for why the immigration judge was wrong in denying your case. Generally, no new evidence can be submitted at this stage, which means you do not have to give testimony like you did before the immigration judge. The government attorneys also have a chance to present their arguments. Usually all arguments are written, but in a very few cases the Board will allow for oral arguments as well. 

After the Board receives your legal arguments, they take some time to review the arguments before issuing a decision. It can take a few months or sometimes up to two years or more for a decision to be made. If the Board finds that the immigration judge made a mistake, they will send the case back to the immigration judge to fix that mistake. At that time, you might have to go back to the court to resolve any issues the Board wants the immigration judge to resolve. If however the Board finds that the immigration judge made no mistakes, they can also deny your case. 

If the Board denies the case, the deportation order can be appealed to the federal courts. Specifically, the order can be appealed to one of several federal courts of appeal that cover the city where your immigration case started. In California, that federal court is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. You will have 30 days from the Board’s denial decision to file a petition with the federal court, asking them to review the Board’s decision. 

The federal court case can take several years to resolve. If the federal court finds that the Board and the immigration judge made a mistake, the court will send your case back to Board and the immigration court to fix their mistakes. However, if the federal court also denies your case, the only way to appeal the case again is to appeal to the US Supreme Court, who only accept a handful of cases every year. That means that for most people in that situation, there are no more avenues to appeal their case further. However, there still might be options to reopen your deportation order based on changed personal circumstances or changed circumstances in your country.

Do you need immigration assistance?

The Haq Law team understands the complex United States Immigration process and can guide you to make the most informed decision. Let us help you!
Contact us to set up an appointment today – 415.895.0661.

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