Can You Appeal A Denied I-130 Petition?

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An I-130 petition is used by U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to request legal resident status for a family member. After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews the petition, a decision is made of whether to approve or deny the request. When it is denied, you and your family member have to find out why and take action. 

Why Was It Denied?

The denial letter from the USCIS states why the petition request was not approved. In some cases, it could be because there was not enough documentation provided to prove that you and the family member meet the financial or familial relationship requirements. It is also possible that your family member did not pass the background check that is required for all people seeking to legally enter the country. 

How you proceed to overturn the USCIS's decision depends on the reasoning for the denial. If you do not understand the reason, discuss the letter with an immigration attorney in your area. 

What Should You Do Next?

There are several options for handling a denied I-130 petition. If the USCIS's reason for the denial was based on a lack of documentation, you can file for an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). When filing, submit all of the information that was previously requested and the missing documentation. 

If there were several reasons cited for the denial of the petition, filing for a new application could be the best move. Your relative will not be penalized for filing a new application. 

When you and your family member file a new petition request, you have the benefit of knowing what information is needed. You can also present a more complete application that can reduce the chances that the request is denied. 

What If It Is Denied Again?

If the new application or the appeals is denied, you can proceed to the next step. If your family member submitted a new application, he or she can file an appeal. 

If your family member chose to file an appeal with the BIA, he or she can now take the case to court. In court, a judge will hear both sides and make a determination as to whether or not entry should be allowed. 

It is important to take action as soon as the denial letter is received because if your family member is already in the United States, he or she could face deportation. Once deportation occurs, it can be harder to win legal residency status.