When officials at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) hand down an unfavorable decision in an immigration case, the petitioner (i.e., the person who filed the application) may have a few options for addressing the decision and attempting to get it changed. In some cases, it may be possible to file an appeal. In others, filing a motion to reopen the case for reconsideration may be a possibility.
Focusing on the second option, below, we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions about pursuing these motions for reconsideration.
While the following provides some generally helpful information, simply contact a San Francisco immigration lawyer at the Law Office of Peter Duong when you are ready for answers specific to you and your situation. Our attorney is ready to provide you with clear advice and exceptional representation for any immigration need or case.
Important Answers about Reopening Immigration Cases with USCIS
Q – Is there a difference between ‘motions to reopen’ versus ‘motions to reconsider’?
A – Yes. Although both of these options can be used to take action when USCIS renders an unfavorable decision, here’s the difference:
- A motion to reopen involves a request that a decision in a case be reviewed due to an applicant’s change of circumstances or new evidence related to a case.
- A motion to reconsider involves a request that a decision in a case be reevaluated in light of new legal arguments (because the former decision didn’t consider all of the provided evidence). With these motions, new evidence or different circumstances will not be relevant or reviewed by officials.
Q – What are the deadlines for filing these motions?
A – 30 days from the date that the initial decision was rendered in a given case. Please note that this is NOT 30 days from the date on which the decision is received by a petitioner.
In some cases, USCIS may grant extensions for this filing deadline (like, for instance, if a petitioner can prove that (s)he was unable to submit the filing due to reasons beyond his/her control).
Q – How can I file either of these motions?
A – How to proceed with a reopen or reconsideration request will depend on the nature of the initial case. Denial letters from USCIS should detail which forms need to be completed in order to proceed with either of these motions. USCIS will not accept letters (or other documents) in place of official forms to initiate these motions.
Q – How long will it take USCIS to grant a decision on these motions?
A – In general, USCIS aims to render decisions on reopen/reconsider motions within 90 days of the motion being properly filed. Please note, however, that decisions for some cases may take longer.
Get More Answers Now: Contact a San Francisco Immigration Lawyer at the Law Office of Peter Duong
Contact a San Francisco immigration lawyer at the Law Office of Peter Duong for answers about your best options for resolving your important immigration issues – as well as for superior representation moving forward. For close to 20 years, our trusted lawyer has been committed to providing exceptional legal services related to all aspects of U.S. immigration and naturalization law.
To discuss your options for resolving your immigration issues – and to learn more about how we can help you, call us today at (415) 231-5143 or email us via the contact form on this page. From our offices based in San Francisco, our attorneys provide the highest quality representation and legal services to clients throughout the Bay Area, the state of California and the world.