The Role of the Board of Immigration Appeals

A trusted Knoxville attorney for BIA representation

There are many reasons why your petition, claim or case may need to go before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Regardless of the reason, it is important that you have an immigration attorney represent your interests; the laws are extremely complex, and you could risk your case if you are unsure about how to proceed.

Attorney Patrick Slaughter can help you if you want to appeal a decision by an immigration judge regarding benefits, immigration bonds and relief from removal. Patrick is always there to answer your questions, and returns calls during the day and in the evenings.

What is the Board of Immigration Appeals?

The BIA is the last administrative step in immigration cases; they are part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is in charge of reviewing the rulings of immigration courts throughout the country. There are 15 Board members, and the headquarters is located in Falls Church, VA. The Board does not normally hear cases the way other “courtrooms” do, though they make exceptions on occasion. If your case requires a hearing in front of the Board, Patrick will represent you personally in Falls Church, just as he represents his clients in front of immigration judges in Memphis and Atlanta.

When does a case go to the BIA?

If you petition for your fiancé(e) to come to America on a K visa and that petition is denied, you may appeal the decision through the BIA. The BIA may rule in favor of your petition, in which case Patrick will help you move forward with the documentation. If the BIA rules against you, however, you can then bring your appeal to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, who has the right to review any decisions or rulings made by the BIA.

Extenuating circumstances

In some cases, however, the immigration courts take too long to decide whether or not your petition will be granted, or if you can collect the benefits you applied for. When it does, you have the right to sue the USCIS. This right is secured under the Mandamus Act; a writ of mandamus can force the USCIS to hear your case more quickly. If you choose to go this route, Patrick can represent you in front of a Federal Court judge, and ask that he or she expedite the decision. In some cases, the court may grant you attorneys’ fees, meaning that the USCIS will have to pay for making you wait so long.

Please know that this scenario is not a common one, but it is not a rarity, either – there are cases against the USCIS all over the country on behalf of immigrants whose rights were denied. These types of suits are very complex, and you will want to consult with Patrick about whether or not this is a good choice for you.

Practical counsel from a Tennessee immigration attorney about your appeals

The Board of Immigration Appeals handles many, many cases. You want to make sure that your petition is filed correctly, and that your interests are represented. Attorney Patrick Slaughter handles cases in front of State and Federal judges, and will work with you directly throughout your case. Please call 865.272.4454 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment in our Knoxville, TN office.