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What is the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)?

In removal proceedings, either the immigrant or the government may appeal various decisions of an Immigration Judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The BIA is part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is a separate federal agency from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are part of the DHS.

What does the BIA do?

The BIA has control over various types of immigration actions, stemming from an immigration judge's decision, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Decisions in deportation (removal) proceedings
  • Relief from removal
  • Waiver applications
  • Bond, parole or other detention determinations
  • Cancellation (rescission) of adjustment of status
  • Denial of I-130 family-based visa petitions among others

In some cases, the BIA's decisions are subject to judicial review by the federal courts.

How are federal courts involved?

If judicial review is allowed, the location of the immigration court where the removal proceedings took place determines which U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has control over the case.

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