How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application
(US Immigration, Green Card Denial)
If your nonimmigrant visa petition or application was denied by the US Consulate, see Visa Denied, Visa Refused Under 214b (Nonimmigrant Visa Denials, Visa Refusals).
If your petition or application is denied or revoked (for US immigration, Green Card, or other issues) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that decision may, in most cases, be appealed to a higher authority for review.
In immigration proceedings, the appellate review authority is divided between two separate government organizations:
- The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), within USCIS
- The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), under the jurisdiction of the Executive Office for Immigration Review in the U.S. Department of Justice
If your petition or application is denied or revoked by USCIS, carefully review the written decision. The notice (Form I-292) will inform you of the reasons for the denial, the proper appellate jurisdiction, the applicable deadlines, and the correct USCIS form to file an appeal.
Who May Appeal if USCIS Denied an Application or Petition?
Only the person who submitted the original application or petition may file the appeal. The beneficiary of a visa or immigration petition may not appeal the denial. For example, if a U.S. employer petitioned for a Green Card (immigrant visa) for an employee living abroad, only the U.S. employer may appeal the denial. The employee living abroad may not appeal the denial.
The person appealing the decision may be represented by an attorney or representative. If the petitioner is represented, the appeal must be accompanied by a properly executed USCIS Form G-28, Notice of Entry or Appearance as Attorney or Representative. The Form G-28 must be signed by both the attorney or representative and the person who filed the original petition or application.
How Do I Appeal if My USCIS Application or Petition was Denied?
Review the Form I-292 that notified you of the denial to determine whether or not you may appeal the denial of your visa or immigration petition or application. The decision will inform you of the proper appellate jurisdiction and provide you with the correct form.
If USCIS denied your application or petition and you want to appeal the denial, the notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the decision. If you received the decision by mail, you must file the appeal within 33 days of the date of the decision. If you wish to appeal the revocation of an approved immigrant petition, you must file the appeal within 15 days of the date of the decision, or within 18 days of the date of the decision if the decision was received by mail.
If the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office has jurisdiction over the decision, you must file the notice of appeal on USCIS Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeal Office. The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision and include the required fee. You may file an explanation in support of your appeal. If you require a fee waiver, please see USCIS fee waiver request procedures.
Forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive forms by mail. Further information on visa and immigration forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations.
For more information on the procedures for the two appellate authorities, please see one of the following: