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Few things are more intimidating than facing deportation from the United States. It is a serious issue for a person who is (alleged to be) in the country without proper legal authorization. According to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), more than 185,000 people were removed from the country in the Fiscal Year 2020 alone. Many more are expected to be deported in the coming years as temporary COVID-19-related policies are no longer in place. 

This raises an important question: Do you have the right to appeal a deportation order? The answer is ‘yes’—but you must submit your appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within 30 days. Here, our federal appeals attorney provides a comprehensive guide to the key things to know about appealing a deportation order.  

A Deportation/Removal Order is Appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)

First and foremost, it is important to understand how immigration appeals work. Technically, deportation cases are neither strictly criminal nor civil matters—at least not in the same sense that other appellate cases are. There is a specialized process for immigration appeals. A deportation order removal order should be appealed to the federal Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). 

You Have 30 Days to Appeal a Deportation Order (Strict Deadline)

A deportation order is technically called an Order of Removal. When an Order of Removal is received, it should include a specific date on it. That date is technically the date the deportation order is taking effect. 

However, under current federal immigration standards, all deportation orders are subject to an automatic 30-day stay. In effect, this means that authorities will not actually move to “execute” a deportation order on the date that it is issued. 30 days must pass. 

The 30-day automatic stay period is also consistent with the amount of time that you have to appeal the decision. If you file to appeal a deportation order to the BIA within 30 days, you will generally lose out on your right to do so. Consult with an immigration appeals lawyer right away. 

Note: You must initiate a deportation appeal by submitting a Notice of Appeal (NOA). An NOA should be submitted to the BIA using Form EOIR-26. If you have any questions about Form EOIR-26, an experienced immigration appeals lawyer can help. 

Deportation Orders: An Overview of BIA Appeals

If you disagree with a removal order that has been signed off on by an immigration judge, you have the right to appeal the matter to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Based in Falls Church, Virginia, the BIA is an administrative appellate body that is organized under the Executive branch. It is technically an administrative body and not a court. The BIA reviews deportation appeals in a manner that is similar to that of the court. 

However, BIA appeals are largely “paper appeals.” This means that, with limited exceptions, there are generally not oral arguments or oral hearings in BIA appeals. Instead, the parties—the person facing deportation and their legal counsel on one side and the government on the other side—will have the opportunity to make their case on paper. Relevant evidence can and should be provided along with a deportation appeal before the BIA. 

You Can Take the Matter to Federal Court

There are multiple levels of appeal in deportation/removal cases. The first stage of the appeals process is to take the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If you received an adverse decision from the BIA—such as if the BIA affirms an immigration judge’s deportation order—you have the right to challenge the matter in federal court. 

It should be noted that a federal court does not have to hear your immigration appeal. A court could decline to do so. If you are preparing to appeal a deportation/removal order to federal court, it is imperative that you are represented by an experienced immigration appeals attorney. Your lawyer will help you raise all available grounds to challenge the deportation order. 

Contact Our Federal Immigration Appeals Attorney Today

At The Appellate Law Firm, our federal appellate lawyers have the professional skills and legal expertise to handle immigration appeals. If you or your loved one is preparing to appeal a deportation order, we are here as a resource. Call us now or contact us online for a confidential, no-commitment case review. We provide federal appellate law representation in many states, including Washington, California, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. 

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