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How do you appeal a deportation decision?

Once the judge makes a decision in a deporation proceeding, you and the government both have the right to appeal, if either of you disagrees with the judge’s decision. For example, if the judge grants you asylum (which would give you permission to stay in the U.S.), but the government disagrees that you met the requirements to be granted asylum, then the government can appeal.

If you disagree with the judge’s decision, tell the judge that you reserve your right to appeal. If either side reserves their right to appeal, the judge’s decision isn’t final. Make sure the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in Virginia receives your appeal within 30 days of the decision. Typically, the judge will indicate the date by which the appeal must be received on the written decision (either the Summary Oral Decision, or cover page of the Written Decision). If there is no date, assume that the appeal must be received no later than 30 days from the date on the cover page of the written decision.

To appeal, complete Form EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge. State why you think that the judge made the wrong decision.

Appeals for people in detention can take months. After filing your appeal, you will get a transcript of your hearings. Also, you can file a brief in support of your appeal. A brief is a detailed document in which you explain the law, and why you argue that you meet the requirements established by law. The BIA will notify you of its decision by mail.

This article, a guide for detained immigrants, gives an overview of appealing a deportation decision.