One of the most important components of the immigration system is the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA is an appellate-level administrative court that hears appeals from decisions of immigration judges and certain agency decisions. For example, if an application for relief (like asylum, withholding of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture) is denied by an immigration judge, the applicant will likely have an opportunity to appeal that decision to the BIA. Such appeals must be filed within 30 calendar days of the date of the immigration judge’s decision. As a part of the appeal process, the applicant has to specify why the immigration judge’s decision was wrong on a form known as the EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Based on the EOIR-29, the BIA may issue a briefing schedule allowing the applicant and the Department of Homeland Security a certain amount of time to file the full reasons in support of their appeal. If a full written decision has not yet been issued by the immigration judge by the time of the appeal, the BIA will likely provide a transcription of the relevant court proceedings. The same process also applies to appeals of immigration judge bond denials.
Understanding the complex BIA appeal process is very important. For example, the BIA may issue a summary affirmance of the immigration judge’s decision if it is evident from the EOIR-29 that there is no basis for a reversal of the immigration court’s decision. Furthermore, the BIA will apply different levels of review to appeals of immigration court decisions depending on whether the basis for the appeal is factual, legal, or a mixed question of law and fact. For that reason, experience in the BIA process is crucial to successfully advocating for the reversal of an immigration judge’s decision.
Enes Hajdarpasic is a Partner at Onal Gallant & Partners. Prior to joining Onal Gallant & Partners, Mr. Hajdarpasic served as the first fully dedicated civil immigration AUSA for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey and represented agencies such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) and the Department of State in federal lawsuits. Additionally, Mr. Hajdarpasic served as an Assistant Chief Counsel (“ACC”) at the Department of Homeland Security, where he litigated hundreds of removal proceeding hearings in immigration court, including asylum claims, bond hearings, and various other petitions and requests for immigration relief.
Onal Gallant & Partners PC is a law office specializing in Real Estate Law, Intellectual Property, Corporate and Business Law, Immigration Law, and the US Visa Processes. We deliver reliable advice on a large variety of subjects ranging from forming a corporation and buying a house in the US to trademark registration and Green Card applications (e.g., EB3 Visa or DV Lottery). With exceptional knowledge and insight into immigration law, our experienced lawyers at Onal Gallant and Partners are ready to help and respond to all of your inquiries.
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