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Can you appeal a denied asylum application?

Posted on in naturalization & citizenship

Seeking asylum in the United States is a stressful affair. After all, you have a lot riding on the decision. Seeing a denial on your asylum application can feel like the end of the world because of this.

Fortunately, that is not the case. Even if your asylum application gets denied, you still have avenues to pursue an appeal.

Appealing in stages

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services discusses what you can do if your application got an unfavorable decision. You must approach your appeal in stages depending on the responses you get. For example, at the start, you will get a grant or denial from the asylum office. If eligible for an appeal after a denial, you will get a reference to an immigration court. Here, the Immigration Judge hears your case.

If the court denies your appeal, you can escalate to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). You must do so within 30 days of an immigration court judge making their decision. Appeals to the BIA often happen entirely through paper. In-person appearances rarely happen. Note that it can take the BIA a year or even longer to render a decision on your case.

What is your last option for appeals?

If the BIA denies the appeal, your next step involves escalating your case to Federal Court. You take your case to the federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Failing at this point allows you to take your case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Note that this is as high as you can go. If the Supreme Court denies your appeal, you have no other course of action. Thus, you want to start strong with legal experts on your side.

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