Immigration Law

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Board of Immigration Appeals Decisions

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body in the United States that has the power to interpret and apply immigration laws. Usually, the BIA decides appeals by conducting a “paper review” of cases. In exceptional cases, it may hear oral arguments of appealed cases, usually at its headquarters in Virginia. Listed below are a few questions answered by immigration lawyers on the Board of Immigration Appeals.

I submitted a form to the Board of Immigration Appeals two weeks ago and sent it to their old address by mistake. Can I be excused if I miss the deadline?

Hopefully, your mail will get forwarded to the new address. Also, there is a possibility that you may be excused if you can furnish evidence of having filed on time and, therefore, prove that they would have received it on time as well. In case they respond negatively, you might need to hire an attorney to file a motion to reopen or reconsider.

We are filing an appeal with form EOIR-26 from an immigration judge in Chicago. Does this have to go to Chicago or Virginia?

To appeal an Immigration judge’s decision with the Board of Immigration Appeals, you would need to send your appeal to the Virginia address. This is given below.

For overnight delivery service:
Board of Immigration Appeals
Clerk's Office
5201 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1300
Falls Church, VA 2204

For First-class mail:
Board of Immigration Appeals
Clerk's Office
P.O. Box 8530
Falls Church, VA 22041

What are my chances of winning a case that was on the Board of Immigration Appeals and has been remanded to the immigration judge, on the grounds that the case was unfair?

The hard part here is the BIA appeal. If you have won that, there is a reasonable chance of winning of the case. However, it also depends on several factors like the elements of the case, the judge, the way the evidence was presented and so on. It’s hard to say what your chances are, but generally speaking, it’s not easy to win an appeal with the BIA. So if you have passed that, you stand a better chance.

My boyfriend came to the U.S. married to someone else on a spouse visa (K-3 visa) but was divorced after a year. He didn’t get a Green Card and his spouse visa was terminated after the divorce. He has stayed on and we want to get married. Can I apply for a Green Card for him as a U.S. citizen?

Based on USCIS regulations, you cannot change someone’s status from a non-immigrant K (such as a K-3) visa holder to a Lawful Permanent Resident on any basis other than the marriage on which the K visa petition was originally based.

For more information on this, visit the following link: (see #35).

He won’t be able to change his status based on a marriage to another U.S. citizen sponsor besides than the U.S. citizen who sponsored his the K-3 visa with which he first came here.

I ran away from Russia because, as a Georgian, I was being persecuted in Russia. My lawyer did not present all my evidence for an asylum application in the U.S. and an immigration judge ruled against it. Can I appeal this?

You can appeal the ruling within 30 days from the date of denial. You would need to offer evidence to the Board of Immigration Appeals that your lawyer did not represent you properly. This may not be easy to do, so you should hire a different attorney to file the appeal for you. You can find one at

The decisions taken by the BIA are binding on all Department of Homeland Security officers and Immigration judges unless they are modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a federal court. Most of the appeals reaching the BIA usually involve removal orders and applications for relief from removal. In addition, the BIA may take on such cases as those that pertain to aliens being excluded from applying for entrance to the United States and motions to reopen or reconsider decisions rendered in the past.
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