If you are ordered removed and the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirms that removal order (or reverses and Immigration Judge’s grant of relief and orders removal), your only remaining relief is to get a higher court called the US Court of Appeals (also called “circuit courts”) to grant you relief or instruct the BIA to make a different decision in your case. This type of request, or appeal, for a US Court of Appeals to take your case is called a “petition for review.” These appeals can be very important because circuit courts have the authority to decide whether parts of immigration laws passed by Congress violate the constitution; neither Immigration Judges or the BIA have the power to make that type of legal determination.
However, petitions for review are the only options in certain situations, the denial of asylum cases, the denial of other discretionary relief, or if there is a legal or constitutional issue at stake, such as whether a criminal conviction made you ineligible for your immigration application. Therefore, it is important to have reliable legal advice before you undertake the time and expense of filing a petition for review.
There are also specific procedures you have to file in order to preserve your right to appeal your case before the US Court of Appeals. Your request must be filed with the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction over the Immigration Court that handled your removal proceedings in the first place. If you are appealing the dismissal of an appeal before the BIA, you only have thirty days from the date of the BIA’s decision to file a petition for review with the appropriate circuit court.
It is also important to note that if even if you file a petition for review, you must still file a stay of removal in order to remain in the United States. While a stay is automatically granted for appeals before the BIA, unfortunately such appeals are not automatic when filing petitions for review before the circuit courts. Therefore, it is even more critical to have expert legal advice when filing a petition for review so that you can also file for a stay of removal.
If your case started in the Immigration Courts in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, our firm can assist you with litigating your petition for review. We encourage you to contact our expert attorneys Suzanne Vazquez and Maud Poudat about our appellate practice today. You may call us at 407.674.6968 or fill out the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.