Appeals to the AAO

Administrative Appeals Lawyer in New Jersey

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) hears a variety of different cases, such as denials of employment-based immigrant petitions under INA §204(b), denials of non-immigrant Visa petitions under INA §214, denials of re-entry permit applications, denials of certificates of citizenship, or revocation of approvals of immigrant visa petitions.

If your Visa petition was denied, a New Jersey Immigration Attorney can advise you on whether pursuing an appeal is a viable solution in your case. At the Law Offices of Simone Bertollini, I helped many clients file appeals to the AAO against both immigrant and non-immigration Visa denials.

Administrative Appeals Office decisions can be found here.

What happens with denied visas?

When a USCIS Service Center denies a case, it will send a letter to the petitioner that explains the reason for the denial. The denial notice will provide information about whether the decision may be appealed, and where to file an appeal. With certain exceptions, you may file a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider if you have received an unfavorable decision. You may file a motion with USCIS even if you do not have any appeal rights. You may also file a motion regarding a decision made on an appeal.

The applicant has 30 days to appeal the denial, by filing Form I-290B with a legal brief and any supporting papers. USCIS will review the appeal and determine whether to take favorable action (within 45 days) or forward the appeal to the AAO. The AAO generally decides cases within six months of the date of filing.

In most cases, an unfavorable AAO decision can be challenged in the local U.S. District Courts. However, administrative decisions must be appealed through any administrative appeals process before they can go to federal court a doctrine. This doctrine is also known as "exhaustion of administrative remedies".

However, a denial of a nonimmigrant Visa petition can be challenged directly to a U.S. District Court. An appeal to the AAO in such cases is not mandatory. The Administrative Appeals Office processign times are generally quite long, and a Visa petitioner may not always afford to wait too much time to have a final answer. The process is complicated, and you should speak with a New Jersey immigration lawyer as soon as you learn of your denial.

Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your immigration appeal case!

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