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How can you appeal an asylum decision?

| Oct 6, 2020 | Asylum/Refugee Status

Getting an unfavorable asylum decision can feel like the end of the world. You may wonder if there is a way to appeal the decision, and fortunately, there is. It is possible to appeal asylum denials up to the Federal Court level.

But to appeal a decision, you must take the proper steps. You have to appeal to certain organizations in a certain order for it to count.

Starting at Immigration Court

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services examines your options if you face a denial of your asylum appeal. The first place you petition to is the asylum office. If they deny you, you can get a referral to immigration court. This is because your denial at this level does not come with an order of removal. An immigration judge at the immigration court will hear your case instead.

If the Immigration Court denies you, you have 30 days to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals. If you miss the 30 day deadline, asylum denial becomes an order of removal. After notifying the BIA of your appeal, you must file a legal brief. After this, you wait for the BIA’s decision. This can take up to a year.

Turning toward Federal Court

If the BIA denies you, your final option is to appeal to the Federal Court. This is often a lengthy and expensive process, but many immigrants find it worthwhile. If you feel you got a judge known for denying asylum and the BIA just rubberstamped the decision, this option may offer what you need. Know that refusing to file further appeals will result in the country expecting your immediate departure.