18 Jan BIA Grants Motion to Reopen
The Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA”), granted our motion to reopen a client’s court proceedings based on her eligibility to apply for a green card through her marriage to a U.S. citizen. This client hired us only two days before the filing deadline for her motion, making this an urgent, and difficult case. Motions to reopen immigration court cases must be filed within 90 days of a final order of deportation or removal, and our client hired our law firm as her immigration lawyers on the 88th day following the Board of Immigration Appeal’s order of removal/deportation. Working overtime, we were able to prepare and file all necessary forms required for a motion to reopen her case, including the filing of her husband’s immediate relative petition and the preparation of a proposed I-485, green card application which is a prerequisite under federal regulations. An Immigration Judge sitting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania will hear our client’s case on remand from the BIA. We expect to receive a new hearing notice from the Philadelphia Court within a few months. Our firm has seen many immigration lawyers make mistakes that caused motions to reopen to be denied in cases similar to this case. Where a motion must be filed within days, any error could be catastrophic as Immigration Courts and the BIA are permitted to reject any filing that does not comport with regulations or the Immigration Court’s Practice Manual. When a motion is rejected and returned to a lawyer, the actual filing date will be when the Court receives the motion back in proper format. If the 90 day deadline has already passed, the client may never be able to reopen his or her case.