When is an Immigration Judge’s Decision Final?

If a decision was made in court regarding deportation proceedings, does that mean that the decision was final? Perhaps it was good or bad news, many people still want to know if their case is over and if the final decision was made. In this blog, you will learn that there are two answers to this question: Yes and no. This blog will cover how an immigration judge comes to their final decision, how you can appeal or follow up to the immigration judge’s decision, and when it is too late to try to change the decision.

What If I Didn’t Actually Attend the Immigration Court Hearing?

It is important to know that whether you attended or not, the immigration judge can still make a decision based on your case.

How and When the Immigration Judge Gives a Decision

Once the immigration judge has listened to your case, along with its evidence, he or she will then make a decision about your case. A decision is not always made on the first day of the individual hearing, as there may be more than one day that is needed to complete your testimony, witness presentations, and more.

The immigration judge may make a choice verbally or in writing. If the judge’s decision is made verbally, they you should expect a summary of the decision that will be sent to you.

However, there are some people who complain about never receiving a written summary pertaining to their case. It is imperative that you provide an updated address to the court, so you can make sure that you receive a written, summarized decision.

Appealing the Immigration Judge’s Decision

For those who received a decision in court that was not in their favor, they may be able to appeal the decision based on the circumstances.

However, an immigration judge’s decision is considered final and the case is closed if at least one of two things occur:

The non-citizen or their attorney waives an appeal, which means you do not want to appeal the decision.

The time to make an appeal expires.

If you are able to make an appeal, the request will then be sent to a higher court, which will need to be reviewed. It is likely that you will have to make an appeal from the immigration judge’s decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, also known as the B.I.A. The B.I.A.’s job is to review decisions that immigration judges send over.

In court, if an immigration judge says their decision aloud, they will likely ask something along the lines of, “Do you want to wave the appeal?”, or “Do you accept this final decision?” It is important to know that you do not have to decide at that moment or day, as it is a big decision to make and you may want it to be reviewed by another court. If you plan to appeal the decision, then you must tell the judge that you want to “reserve the appeal.” If you choose to do that, then you can file your appeal; however, it may not be any later than the 30 day time limit.

Once you receive the judge’s decision by mail, you have 30 days from the date of the decision to appeal it. Do not travel outside of the U.S. once the immigration judge makes a decision and before you file an appeal, otherwise, your appeal will be considered waived since you left.

Asking to Reopen or Reconsider Your Case

If there are new facts or evidence that pertain to your case that were not considered when the immigration judge made a decision, you would need to file what’s called a “motion to reopen.”

If you believe that the judge made a mistake, you would file what is considered a “motion to reconsider.”

Please note that there are very strict rules that you must abide and a lot of documents that need to be efficiently filled out. It is best that you contact an immigration appeal lawyer to get the legal help you need.

Contact an Immigration Appeal Attorney

If you are in need of an immigration lawyer Los Angeles for the immigration appeals process, feel free to reach out to one of our skilled and knowledgeable immigration appeal lawyers at Alami Law. We will get you the help you need and deserve.