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    How Do I Appeal the Denial of My Petition or Application?


    When an immigration petition or application is denied or revoked by 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 agencies: the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) within USCIS, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), under the jurisdiction of the Executive Office of Immigration Review, United States Department of Justice.

    If a petition or application is denied or revoked, you should carefully review the written decision that is issued by USCIS. The notice will inform you of the reasons for the decision, notify you of the proper appellate jurisdiction, the applicable deadlines, and provide you with the correct USCIS form for filing an appeal.


    Who May Appeal?

    Only the person who submitted the original application or petition may file the appeal. The beneficiary of a visa petition may not appeal the decision. For instance, if a United States employer petitioned for an immigrant visa for an employee living abroad, only the United States 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?

    Review Form I-292 as well as the notice of denial that accompanied the adverse decision to determine whether or not you may appeal the denial of your petition or application. The decision will inform you of the proper appellate jurisdiction and provide you with the correct form.

    If you want to appeal the denial of a petition or application, the notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the decision. If you receive 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 is received by mail.

    If the Administrative Appeals Office has jurisdiction over the decision, the notice of appeal must be filed on Form I-290B (Notice of Appeal to the Administrative Appeal Office). The appeal must be filed with the office that made the original decision. A brief (explanation) may be filed in support of your appeal. A fee is required and must be included. If you require a fee waiver, please see fee waiver request procedures, and the USCIS fee waiver policy memorandum. You can open any of the Forms G-28, I-292, or I-290B by navigating to the Related Links section in the upper right corner of this page. Forms are also available by calling 1-800-870-3676 to request printed copies by mail.

    What Are Current Processing Times for the Administrative Appeals Office?

                AAO Processing Times as of March 18, 2009


    Case Type


    I-129 F

    Petition for Fiancée


    I-129 H1B

    Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker

    13 Months

    I-129 H2, H3


    1-129 H3

    Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker


    Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker




    I-129 L

    Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee


    I-129 O

    Nonimmigrant Extradordinary Ability Worker


    I-129 P1, P2, P3

    Athletes, Artists and Entertainers


    I-129 Q

    Cultural Exchange Visitor



    Application for Travel Document


    I-140 EB1(A)

    Alien with Extraordinary Ability

    9 Months

    I-140 EB1(B)

    Outstanding Professor or Researcher

    8 Months 

    I-140 EB1(C)

    Multinational Manager or Executive

    9 Months

    I-140 EB2

    (D) - Advanced Degree Professional

    21 Months

    I-140 EB2

    (I) - National Interest Waiver


    I-140 EB3


    I-140 EB3

    (E) - Skilled or Professional Worker


    (G) - Other Worker

    22 Months 


    20 Months


    Application to Reapply for Admission


    I-360 EB4

    Petition for Religious Worker


    I-360 J

    Special Immigrant Juvenile


    I – 360 VAWA

    Violence Against Women Act Petition

    9 Months


    Cuban Adjustment Act Application



    LIFE Act Adjustment Application



    Section 13 Adjustment Application


    I-526 EB5

    Alien Entrepreneur

    8 Months


    Petition for Orphan



    Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility

    23 Months


    Application for 212(e) Waiver



    Legalization Application for Temporary Residence

    20 Months


    Legalization Adjustment Application



    Special Agricultural Worker



    Temporary Protected Status



    Application to Issue Cert for Health Care Workers



    Application for T Nonimmigrant Status



    Application to Preserve Residence



    Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document



    Certificate of Citizenship



    Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted Child


    "Current" means pending at the AAO for less than six months

    Where Can I Find the Law?

    The authority to adjudicate appeals is delegated to the AAO by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pursuant to the authority vested in him through the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-296. See DHS Delegation Number 0150.1 (effective March 1, 2003); see also 8 C.F.R. § 2.1 (2003). The AAO exercises appellate jurisdiction over the matters described at 8 C.F.R. § 103.1(f)(3)(iii) (as in effect on February 28, 2003), with one exception - petitions for approval of schools and the appeals of denials of such petitions are now the responsibility of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There is no appellate review of denials of extension of stay or change of nonimmigrant status. Only one appeal may be filed for each denial or revocation; there is no appellate review of an appellate decision.

    Last updated:04/02/2009

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