How to File an Asylum Appeal?

Updated on 01/27/2023

Asylum is a form of protection that immigrants who believe they are facing persecution can lawfully request at the ports of the United States or while inside the country. Asylum cases are often complex and are influenced by a compound of life history, political and social contexts outside of the United States, and a constantly shifting landscape of U.S. immigration laws and policies. After an asylum application gets denied by an immigration judge, what remedy is available so that asylum applicants can avoid removal from the U.S.? The answer is to file an asylum appeal with the BIA.

Asylum Appeal

What is BIA?

BIA is an abbreviation of the Board of Immigration Appeals. BIA is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws of the U.S.

Who can file an asylum appeal with the BIA?

Any asylum applicant whose asylum application was denied by an immigration judge can file an asylum appeal with the BIA; no matter it is an affirmative asylum application or a defensive asylum application.  It is advisable for asylum applicants to retain an attorney to help them file the appeal.

When to file an asylum appeal with the BIA?

Asylum applicants must file the appeal with the BIA within 30 days of the immigration judge’s denial decision.

What happened after filing an asylum appeal with the BIA?

Once the asylum appeal is received by the BIA, you then wait for the BIA to issue a Briefing Schedule. It typically takes 1-2 years for the BIA to issue a Briefing Schedule. The Briefing Schedule will set the date your brief in support of your appeal is due and the date that the Department of Homeland Services must submit their brief. The BIA nearly always gives you two weeks to submit a brief once the Briefing Schedule is issued. This is a very little amount of time, so it is important that you get the brief ready before the issuance of the Briefing Schedule. Brief is a complex legal writing. It is highly recommended to hire an attorney with extensive experience in BIA appeal to handle the brief.  

After the brief is submitted to the BIA, BIA typically issues a decision to your asylum appeal approximately 1 year later.  

What kind of decisions will BIA issue?

The BIA will decide whether to remand your case back to an immigration judge to cure any errors made in the prior immigration judge’s decision or to dismiss your appeal. If your appeal is remanded, congratulations! You will have another opportunity to present your asylum application before an immigration judge. If your appeal is dismissed, your options are to leave the United States or to appeal BIA’s decision in a circuit court. 

What are the chances of winning an asylum appeal?

Frankly, it is little chance to win an asylum appeal at BIA. However, there are significant benefits to file an asylum appeal as described below.

What benefits to file an asylum appeal?

As mentioned above, it is typically between 2 and 3 years for the BIA to issue a decision to the appeal. In other words, after the immigration judge denies your asylum application, you will have additional 2-3 years to stay in the United States if you file an asylum appeal. Importantly, in most cases, you can renew your work permit through this whole process. Moreover, in the additional 2-3 years, new evidence or new circumstances might be available to you, which warrant your qualification for a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider that brings you a gleam of hope for obtaining a green card eventually.

How much does it cost to file an asylum appeal with the BIA?

The filing fee charged by the BIA for an appeal is only $110. However, you are expected to pay $5000-$10000 attorney fee as asylum appeal is a complex legal matter.

Through, you can find a skilled immigration attorney who can help you file an asylum appeal. Contact us now at 888-919-8555 or [email protected] or schedule an appointment online to have a free consultation!

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