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About Appeals, Waivers & Motions

How a Maryland Immigration Appeals Attorney Can Help

If you have received an unfavorable decision on an immigration matter you are probably feeling frustrated and wondering if there is anything that you can do.  When your case has been denied, various options may be available, including filing an appeal of your decision and/or filing a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision.  Additionally, if you have been deemed inadmissible to enter the United States, you may be able to apply for a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

Immigration Appeals

In an immigration case, an individual who has received an unfavorable decision may be able to appeal the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) within the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO).  The denial notice that you received will explain whether your decision is eligible for appeal and, if so, it will outline where to file your appeal and the specific form that you will need to complete and submit.  Appeals are subject to strict deadlines: in most instances an appeal will need to be filed within 30 days from the date of the original decision.

In general, an appeal is a request to a higher authority asking the authority to review the decision of a lower authority.  In an immigration matter, when you file an appeal to the AAO, the officer who made the original decision will review the record to determine whether the explanation or evidence you have set forth in your appeal warrants the reopening or reconsideration of the initial decision.  Should the officer determine that a reopening or reconsideration is appropriate, he or she will forward the case to the AAO or the BIA for further review.

The appeals process can be lengthy and quite complicated.  In addition to the AAO and the BIA, other governmental bodies may be responsible for hearing your appeal.  The legal team at Miranda & Weisman assists with all types of immigration appeals.  Every Maryland immigration appeals attorney at our firm has an extensive understanding of how the various appeals work and we will guide you through the appeals process from start to finish.


An individual who is ineligible to be admitted to the United States and is seeking immigration benefits, including an immigrant visa or adjustment of status, and certain nonimmigrant applicants who are inadmissible, may be able to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

Depending on your circumstances, if you are deemed inadmissible you may be eligible to apply for various waivers, including an I-601 hardship waiver.  Under this type of I-601 waiver, you must demonstrate that a “qualifying relative” will suffer extreme “hardship” if your waiver is not granted.  The definition of a “qualifying relative” will depend upon the type of I-601 waiver that you are requesting.

There are various categories of I-601 hardship waivers that are generally based on specific grounds for inadmissibility, including criminal-related, health-related and immigration fraud. Other grounds for inadmissibility include misrepresentation and previous unlawful presence in the U.S.  In addition to I-601 hardship waivers, there are different forms of waivers that pertain to other situations, including asylum applications.

Qualifying for an I-601 hardship or other waiver of inadmissibility can be a challenging process.  If you are considering a waiver, you should consult with a Baltimore criminal immigration lawyer or appeals attorney at our firm to review your specific situation.


When you file a motion to reopen you are making a request for the original immigration authority to review the decision of your case.  These types of motions must be based on factual grounds and give you the opportunity to present new information relevant to your case, such as newly discovered facts or a change in your circumstance since the time of your hearing.

In contrast, a motion to reconsider seeks to correct alleged errors of fact or law.  A motion to reconsider is based on new or additional legal grounds.  When filing a motion to reconsider, you must set forth the legal arguments and supporting authority to demonstrate why the initial decision was incorrect.  In most situations, both motions to reopen and motions to reconsider must be filed within 30 days from the date of your decision.

Contact a Baltimore Criminal Immigration Lawyer

To learn more about motions, waivers, and immigration appeals, contact a Maryland immigration appeals attorney at our firm or visit the following sections of our website:

You can reach a Baltimore criminal immigration lawyer by calling 410-321-4994, or email us online.