The Scope of AAO Jurisdiction and Review
The AAO was established in 1983 to provide a centralized process for the review of decisions by USCIS officials. Specifically, the AAO has jurisdiction over a variety of cases, including:
- Decisions by USCIS to revoke approval of a petition previously granted.
- Most employment-related visa petitions by immigrants and nonimmigrants.
- Applications for Temporary Protected Status.
- Petitions by fiancées.
- Waiver of inadmissibility cases.
- Orphan petitions.
- Applications to reapply for entry after you have been deported.
- ICE rulings regarding the violation of a condition of a surety bond.
- Numerous other petitions.
The scope of the USCIS decision-making authority is obviously very wide. The issues it is empowered to decide include matters covered in a host of government forms, including Forms I-129; I-140; I-212; I-360; I-470; I-526; and I-600, among others.
Motions and Certifications
The types of cases decided by the AAO are, as noted above, limited by subject matter, although those limits are very broad. There are also three specific types of applications that may come before the AAO. They are appeals (discussed above), motions to reconsider (and reopen); and what is known as “certification.”
Motions to reopen and to reconsider involve an application by an aggrieved party asking the AAO to reopen and reconsider its own decision. The AAO is also empowered to do this on its own motion. There is a slight difference between the two: a motion to reopen is based upon the furnishing evidence of new facts in a case; a motion to reconsider asks the AAO to go back into the case decided because it, the AAO, incorrectly applied the law in rendering its prior decision.
Officers of USCIS are permitted to ask the AAO to review an initial decision based upon unusual or complex facts or law. The process is known as certification.
Board of Immigration Appeals
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body charged with the task of interpretation and application of immigration laws. As a general rule, the BIA conducts its hearings in the same way as courts of appeal, that is, based upon the record of the court or body below, although there are exceptions. The BIA has its own procedures, forms, filing and other requirements.
Immigration Appeals Attorney in Phoenix, AZ
What we have provided above is an overview of the various bodies dealing with appeals from immigration decisions. It is obvious that the number of administrative bodies, issues, forms, and procedures is extensive. Filing requirements, time limits and other matters are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filing and perfecting an appeal in an immigration case.
At Castañeda Immigration Law, we understand the appeals process and how to use that process for the benefit of our clients. If you believe you have a case that warrants further review, contact our office. We can help.