How To Appeal an Immigration Court Deportation Order

How To Appeal an Immigration Court Deportation Order

If you have received a deportation order from an immigration judge, you may be wondering what to do next. While this situation can seem daunting, it’s important to know that you have the right to appeal the judge’s decision to a higher authority.

Grounds for Appealing a Deportation Order

There are several potential grounds on which you can appeal an immigration judge’s deportation order, including:

  • The immigration judge made an error in applying immigration law
  • The immigration judge incorrectly assessed the facts of your case
  • You have new evidence that was not available at the time of your hearing
  • You received ineffective assistance from a previous lawyer

When filing your appeal, your immigration lawyer will need to clearly lay out the legal and/or factual basis for the appeal.

Where to File Your Appeal

Appeals of immigration court decisions are made to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) [1]. To start your appeal, you must file a Form EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge [2], along with a fee or fee waiver request.

This form must be filed with the BIA within 30 calendar days from the date the immigration judge’s order was issued [2]. If you declare on the record that you do not intend to appeal, you waive your right to appeal and cannot file later.

What Happens While My Appeal is Pending?

Filing an appeal of your deportation order automatically stays (stops) your removal from the United States until a decision is reached in your case [5]. This means ICE cannot deport you while your appeal is pending with the BIA.

Next Steps After Filing Your BIA Appeal

After you submit your Notice of Appeal, a transcript of your immigration court proceedings will be prepared. Once complete, you will have the opportunity to file a written legal brief detailing your arguments for appeal.

The BIA will then review the complete record of your case, including the transcript and all evidence presented. In some cases, an oral argument may be scheduled, allowing your attorney to argue your appeal in person [10].

Waiting for a BIA Appeal Decision

It typically takes around 6 months for the BIA to issue a decision on an appeal, but it can sometimes take years depending on the complexity and court backlog [17]. While waiting, you cannot be removed from the U.S. and should check in periodically on your case status.

If Your BIA Appeal is Denied

If the BIA denies your appeal, your removal order becomes final. However, you still have a few options:

  • File a motion to reopen your immigration case based on new circumstances [8]
  • File a motion to reconsider, arguing the BIA made a legal or factual error [8]
  • File a petition for review with a federal circuit court of appeals [7]

While complex, appealing a denied BIA appeal is possible in some cases. Speaking to an immigration lawyer can help you understand if you have additional options to fight your removal.


Appealing an immigration judge’s deportation order can be complicated, but legal help is available. Some useful online resources include:

Getting experienced legal help can make all the difference in successfully appealing a deportation order. Reach out to a licensed immigration attorney to discuss your case.