Motion to Reopen: USCIS Appeals for Denying Cases (2023)

Suppose you applied for immigration and received a response that said: "Imagine an unfavorable decision.” In this case, you may still have the option to reopen or reconsider your case. These two options are often confused as the same action, but they are not. Both processes are complicated, so it is best to have the help and support of an immigration attorney.

If an immigration service is denied, the applicant may submit a request for reconsideration or reopening to the District Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services that denied their application.

Requests for reconsideration are exclusively of a legal nature and require justification that the rejection was based on an incorrect application of the law. Requests for a new trial may be made based on new evidence or changed circumstances.

This page provides information on reopening requests, reconsideration requests, and how they differ from filing a complaint. We will discuss the basics of oppositions to better understand how reopening and reconsideration requests differ from the opposition process and how they are similar.

What is an appeal request?

Also called simply aappeal, an immigration appeal is a request sent to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) to have another agency review a decision on your application.

Immigration Appeals Procedure

If you receive a denial of your application, you can appeal within 30 days from the date of the decision. Your appeal will be sent to the AAO and to the USCIS office that made the original decision to conduct a field audit. Then two things can happen. The USCIS office:

  1. Make the complaint a request for review or a request for reconsideration, or;
  2. Treat the complaint as a grievance and submit the request to the AAO

Contact your immigration attorney to file a complaint and whether you should file a complaint instead of a request for reopening or reconsideration.

What is a USCIS Request for Review?

When you file a request for USCIS review, you are requesting that your unfavorable decision be reviewed with a new legal argument that USCIS made an incorrect decision.

Your application will state why USCIS legally erred in denying your application. You must use the same evidence, which means you cannot addnuevoInformation about your application. Rather, it alleges that USCIS did not correctly apply the law or policy when reviewing your application. You must show that your evidence was and is sufficient for approval.

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

What is a USCIS Request to Reopen?

A USCIS request for reinstatement asks the office that made the unfavorable decision to reinstate your case. Unlike a request for reconsideration, USCIS allows you to do thisprovide recent facts and evidence demonstrating your eligibility at the time of your application.

If you wonder if youDeportation or other unfavorable decisions, is the answerdepends on.

If USCIS denies your application, you will be notifiedwhy. If you provide new evidence, it must be primarily relevant to the reason your application was denied. They give USCIS more information about why your application should be approved, and their reasoning may be challenged with new facts.

USCIS requires affidavits or other documentary evidence to support "new facts." As indicated in the Statement of New Facts, the evidence presented in the request for review cannot be repeated. Instead, you must support your argument with new evidence that has not been presented before.

USCIS Application Denied for Abandonment

If the unfavorable decision by USCIS resulted from your "cancellation" application or petition, you may be able to file a request to have the USCIS application reopened. USCIS lists four ways you can submit a USCIS request to reopen:

  1. When USCIS required evidence, but the evidence was not essential
  2. When USCIS requested evidence, but you submitted the evidence with your application
  3. You have timely complied with USCIS instructions when they requested your appearance or additional evidence
  4. The reason for the denial of the abandonment was that the USCIS applications were being sent to the wrong address, which was different from the address on file.

USCIS has reopened my case. Now what?

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

If USCIS reinstates your case after your reinstatement application is approved, you may submit the new evidence you provided on your Form I-290B, appeal, or application. The USCIS office will then review the newly submitted data.

The difference between a request to reopen and a request for reconsideration

The main difference between the two movements is that aReopening request presents new facts to considerwhile a request for review does not.

Like a request to reopen and a similar request for reconsideration?

USCIS requires one form for both a request to reopen and a request for reexamination. Form I-290B cannot be substituted for a filed letter. You must also pay the required form fee, unless you are applying for asylum.

The difference between a complaint and a request for reopening or reconsideration?

Appeals and motions are often confused with each other. However, they are not the same.

When you file a complaint, you request that your case be elevated to a higher decision-making level, while the MTRs are elevated to the same level. This is important because in some cases appeals cannot be filed.

When USCIS sends you an unfavorable decision, it includes information about the appeal or motion.

To appeal the immigration decision:Filing a Complaint, Request for Reconsideration, or Request to Reopen USCIS Decisions

The main similarity between the three options is that they all use the same form. Those wishing to appeal a reconsideration or reopening of a decision must complete and file Form I290-B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. Your application should be sent to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).Those who challenge a review or reopening decision must complete and submit itFormulario I290-B, complaint or request. Your form should be sent to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or theImmigration Service Appeals Chamber(BIA).

And youForm I-130 for family sponsorshipis rejected, you can send oneEOIR-29, Claim before the BIA to examine the application.

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

The address to which you send your USCIS application for reopening, reconsideration, or appeal is determined by the category of your appeal or application. For example, was your application for change of status or naturalization? Who made the decision on your application, a local USCIS office, a USCIS service center, a National Benefits Center, etc.? This information is critical when filing an appeal or request for reconsideration or reopening.

For more information, seeUSCIS-Form I-290B Direct Filing Addresses-Websiteor consult your immigration attorney at Scott D. Pollock & Associates P.C. This day.

Applications and asylum

You may be able to apply if you have appliedpolitical asylumand they were denied. You do not have to file Form I-290B or pay an application fee. If you are dependent on someone who has been denied political asylum, you can apply for readmission or reconsideration on their behalf.

processing times

USCIS Appeals Processing Time

USCIS complaint processing time may vary depending on the office making the decision. For example, the AAO can take up to six months to make a decision, while some USCIS service centers can take up to three months.

However, some cases may take less or more time. talk to youImmigration lawyerabout the estimated processing time for your reopening, reconsideration or appeal request and your success rate for reconsideration requests.

Request to reopen the processing time

You can expect a response from the USCIS office within 90 days of submitting your application. Like the processing time for USCIS appeals, this can be reduced, but it is extended more often.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today

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


How do I win an immigration appeal? ›

If you want to win an immigration appeal, following these tips:
  1. Prepare a robust appellant's bundle.
  2. The documentation you provide should prove that you adhered to all the necessary personal immigration rules or that your circumstances are compassionate and compelling to warrant a visa.
  3. Get a robust legal representative.

What if the USCIS makes a mistake? ›

If we do think USCIS made a mistake, we'll refile it with an explanation as to what mistake they're making. This can be hard and problematic and difficult. Sometimes it's easier to just go along with what they're saying. So when you believe USCIS has made a mistake, number one, you're going to have to prove it.

What does it mean when USCIS says we are still reviewing your case? ›

It simply means that the case manager requested additional information from your employer, USCIS received evidence in response to the query, and the case manager is currently reviewing the new information.

What happens if change of status is denied? ›

If USCIS denies the application for change of status, it will issue a written decision. A denied applicant may file a motion to reopen or reconsider within 30 days of the decision.

What is the success rate of immigration appeals? ›

The Odds Of Winning Are Against You

Few file an appeal. Only 35,000 to 40,000 – less than 20% – keep fighting to stay in the United States with their wife and children. Of the 35,000 to 40,000 who decide to fight the immigration court decision . . . . . . Only 10% win their appeals.

Can immigration forgive you? ›

Broadly speaking, a waiver is a form of forgiveness given by U.S. immigration authorities to persons who are legally "inadmissible." That includes, for example, persons who have committed certain criminal acts, contracted certain communicable diseases, undertaken certain types of international offenses, or otherwise ...

Can USCIS reopen a denied case? ›

Summary. What can you do if your petition or application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denied? You can either file a new petition, file a motion to reopen the petition that was denied, or file a motion to reconsider the petition that was denied.

Can USCIS request for evidence twice? ›

You will typically only get an RFE once, which means you have this one chance to respond to any and all remaining questions that USCIS has about your application.

Can you sue USCIS for mistake? ›

Yes. If there have been unreasonable delays in your case, you may file a complaint against the Immigration Service in the Federal Court, and the Court can force the Immigration Service to make a decision in your case.

How long after your case is being actively reviewed by USCIS? ›

USCIS Case Status Message Explorer

According to Lawfully's data analysis of USCIS case status message updates, among the people who received the status message "Case Is Being Actively Reviewed By USCIS," the most probable next update message is "Case Approved," (at 78%) after an average of 62 days.

How long does it take USCIS to review a case 2022? ›

AAO appellate review: The AAO strives to complete its appellate review within 180 days from the time it receives a complete case record after the initial field review. Some cases may take longer than 180 days due to factors beyond the AAO's control.

How long does it take USCIS to review evidence? ›

In most cases the standard processing time is 60 days, though the actual processing time can be anywhere from 15 days to 80 days depending on the adjudicator's workload.

What can I do if USCIS denied my case? ›

If your case was denied, you can challenge the unfavorable decision by filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the highest administrative court, which reviews immigration court decisions. Subject to certain exceptions, an appeal to the BIA must be filed within 30 days of the negative ruling.

Can I sue USCIS for denial? ›

Just because the government denies an immigration petition does not mean it was the right decision. In some cases, the denial was improper. But rather than start over with another application, applicants have the right to sue the government and challenge the denial.

What happens if USCIS denies adjustment of status? ›

With rare exception, there is no appeal from the denial of adjustment of status. USCIS, however, may certify the case for review by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The applicant also may renew the adjustment application in any subsequent removal proceedings.

What happens if motion to reopen is denied? ›

Can I appeal or try again if my motion is denied? Yes. Although aliens can only file a motion to reopen, denials of motions to reopen can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If the BIA denies the appeal, it can be appealed again to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Why is it hard to win an appeal? ›

Winning an appeal is very hard. You must prove that the trial court made a legal mistake that caused you harm. The trial court does not have to prove it was right, but you have to prove there was a mistake. So it is very hard to win an appeal.

What happens when your immigration appeal is dismissed? ›

It means that the government is no longer trying to deport you and they are ending your case in immigration court. If you applied for asylum in immigration court and your case was dismissed, your asylum case has also ended, without a final decision.

How much is a pardon for immigration? ›

Don't forget to sign your form.


Does immigration watch you? ›

If you're an immigrant, green card holder, or naturalized citizen—or if you have interacted with someone matching that description—the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is monitoring you.

Are there legitimate grounds for denying immigration? ›

Immigration Violations

Immigration officials will likely deny your green card application if you have overstayed a visa by six months or more, or if you have ever entered the country unlawfully. Immediate relatives who are present in the U.S. can generally adjust status after an overstay.

Can you appeal a motion to reopen denial? ›

(a) You may appeal the decision denying a motion to reopen to the authority head by filing a notice of appeal with the authority head within 15 days after the ALJ denies the motion. The timely filing of a notice of appeal must stay the initial decision until the authority head decides the issue.

Can an immigration case be reopened? ›

When Can You File a Motion with USCIS to Reopen Your Case? A motion to reopen is normally filed within 90-days of the final removal order. The filing of the motion does not waive the removal order unless a stay is ordered by the Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

What does it mean case was reopened for reconsideration? ›

Unlike an appeal, a motion to reconsider or reopen a case does not send the case to a higher legal authority, but requests that the original authority take a second look at the case.

What kind of evidence does USCIS request? ›

When adjudicating an immigration benefit, officers need to verify facts such as dates of marriage, birth, death, and divorce, as well as criminal and employment history. The “best evidence rule” states that where the facts are at issue in a case, the officer should request the original document.

Why does USCIS ask for more evidence? ›

Technically speaking, an RFE is a written request for more information and documentation that USCIS mails out if they believe that they don't yet have enough evidence to approve or deny a given application.

What is difference between request for evidence and request for additional evidence? ›

Answer: If the USCIS determines that a Request For Evidence (RFE) must be issued, then the RFE will cover all needed evidence. If the RFE is for “additional evidence” which is required to assist an USCIS officer in making a decision rather than an RFE for “initial evidence” which is required to make a petition case.

How many lawsuits against USCIS? ›

A year ago, in July 2021, 387 such lawsuits were filed. By December 2021, that number grew to 466, and in May 2022, that number grew again to 647.

How much is it to sue USCIS? ›

Fees for U.S. District Court Complaint is $350.00, plus $50.00 (est.)

Can I report a USCIS officer? ›

Persons can make a complaint in a USCIS office by asking to speak to a supervisor. In these situations, a supervisor must be made available within a reasonable amount of time. The supervisor should take the complainant's name and information about the nature of the complaint.

Why is USCIS taking so long to process 2022? ›

Many factors may affect how long it takes USCIS to complete an application, petition or request, such as the number of applications, petitions, or requests we receive, workload and staffing allocations, the time a benefit requestor takes responding to a request for more information, as well as policy and operational ...

How long after case is being actively reviewed by USCIS I 130 in 2022? ›

Most Form I-130 petitions for immediate relatives are approved within a 5 to 9 month time frame, but they can take longer in some cases.

Does USCIS count weekends? ›

When computing the period of time for filing an appeal or motion USCIS counts every calendar day (including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) starting the first calendar day after the date USCIS mailed the unfavorable decision.

Will USCIS speed up in 2022? ›

USCIS committed to improving processing times for petitions and key documents back in March 2022, which we reported on in detail here. Specifically, USCIS announced the following goals: I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD): within three months.

Which USCIS office is the fastest? ›

Cleveland – The Fastest City in the U.S. in Naturalization
  • If you are a green card holder for 3-5 years;
  • If you have served in the U.S. military.
13 Nov 2022

How long does an immigration appeal decision take? ›

An immigration appeal may take between 6 months and 1 year to resolve.

How long does case officer take to make a decision? ›

Case officers can form an overall idea of the case in less than a minute. This is important for them because they have strict targets, e.g. processing 20 applications within 1 day, which means they may not have the luxury to form an opinion only after looking at all the documents.

What to do if petition is denied? ›

What to Do After an I-130 Gets Denied
  1. File a New Application. This may be the best option depending on the reason for the I-130 denial. ...
  2. File an Appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) The circumstances for your I-130 denial may require that you appeal the decision with the BIA.
22 Nov 2022

How do I know if USCIS received my evidence? ›

You're not going to receive a mailed paper letter saying, “We got your information.” But what you can check your case status online through this USCIS Tool. Input your receipt number for your application to track your case. Within a short period of time, you should see that changed to say they received your response.

What should you not say in an immigration interview? ›

DON'T joke around with the USCIS officer. In particular, avoid joking or sarcasm related to drug dealing, communicable diseases, bigamy, or smuggling people into the country. DON'T argue with your spouse or other family members in the middle of an interview.

What are the chances of winning an immigration case? ›

This view is far from the truth. Even if you are not a permanent resident, do not fall into the trap of assuming defeat is automatic. Yes, the reality is once served a Notice To Appear at immigration court, the odds of winning are far less than 50-50. But that does not mean you cannot be one of the fortunate ones.

What qualifies as extreme hardship for immigration? ›

Extreme hardship has been defined by U.S. immigration agencies and the courts to mean hardship that is greater than what the U.S. relative would experience under normal circumstances if the would-be immigrant were not allowed to come to or stay in the United States. There has to be something extra at play.

How long does a immigration appeal take? ›

AAO appellate review: The AAO strives to complete its appellate review within 180 days from the time it receives a complete case record after the initial field review. Some cases may take longer than 180 days due to factors beyond the AAO's control.

What are 3 questions you should avoid asking at an interview? ›

Questions to avoid in an interview:

Never ask about pay, time off, benefits, etc. (Wait until later in the process to inquire about these things.) Never ask “What does your company do?” • Never ask “If I'm hired, when can I start applying for other positions in the company?” • Never ask how quickly you can be promoted.

What is the most immigration question? ›

Typical questions include:
  • What is your mother's maiden name?
  • -in-law or father-in-law's first name?
  • Is your mother or father a U.S. citizen?
  • How many children do you have?
  • Where were your children born?
  • Is your child your biological, adopted, or your spouse's?
31 Jan 2022

What do immigration officers see on their screen? ›

Additional Information an Officer Can Get About You

Any criminal history you have. Your citizenship status. Employment information. Your phone numbers.

Who has the burden of proof in immigration court? ›

Under section 214(b) of the Act, every alien is presumed to be an immigrant. The burden of proof is on the alien to establish nonimmigrant status under INA § l0l(a)(15). h. In cases in which the applicant bears the burden of proof, the burden of proof never shifts and is always on the applicant.

What happens if immigration denies your case? ›

If your case was denied, you can challenge the unfavorable decision by filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the highest administrative court, which reviews immigration court decisions. Subject to certain exceptions, an appeal to the BIA must be filed within 30 days of the negative ruling.

What is general proof of hardship? ›

Acceptable Documentation

Lost Employment. • Unemployment Compensation Statement. (Note: this satisfies the proof of income requirement as well.) • Termination/Furlough letter from Employer. • Pay stub from previous employer with.

What are examples of hardships? ›

The most common examples of hardship include:
  • Illness or injury.
  • Change of employment status.
  • Loss of income.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Divorce.
  • Death.
  • Military deployment.

How long does it take USCIS to respond to motion to reopen? ›

Although some cases may take longer, USCIS field offices and service centers try to adjudicate motions within 90 days. The AAO strives to complete its review of motions within 180 days from the time it receives a complete case file.

How long does a motion to reopen take? ›

The time it takes for a judge to make a decision on a motion varies based on the number of cases the judge has. Usually the time can vary from 15 days to 6 months. However, some motions can be decided within 15 days.


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