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Effective 9/28/2005, Filing Fee For Appeals Triples

Those appealing a denied petition or waiver with the CIS Administrative Appeals Office prior to September 28, 2005, pay $110 in filing fees. Applications mailed, postmarked, or otherwise filed, on or after September 28, 2005 require the new fee of $385.

The BIA remains a component of DOJ, and has appellate jurisdiction over the orders of immigration judges, denials of relative immigrant visa petitions (Form I-130), and decisions involving administrative fines and penalties.

This new fee applies also for filing appeals of, and motions to reopen or reconsider, any decision under the immigration laws in any type of proceeding other than those described at 8 CFR 1003.1(b), over which the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in the Department of Justice (DOJ) has appellate jurisdiction.

This rule applies to fees for appeals and motions relating to the types of cases under the jurisdiction of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). The AAO is an appellate office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Administrative Appeals Office is in Washington, DC, and is under the jurisdiction of the commissioner of the immigration service.

The AAO has jurisdiction over many types of actions including appeals from denials of employment-based preference petitions, appeals from denials of petitions for temporary workers (i.e., E, H, L, O, & P denials), appeals from revocation of approvals of immigrant visa petitions; reentry permit application denials; and appeals from denials of applications for waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement based on exceptional hardship or fear of persecution.

The fees, deposited into the Immigration Examinations Fee Account (IEFA), are adjusted from $110 to $385 to recover the full costs associated with the processing of an appeal, motion to reopen or motion to reconsider. Federal statutes authorize USCIS to establish and collect fees to recover the full cost of processing immigration benefit applications, rather than supporting these services with tax revenue.

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 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.

Finally, there are strict deadlines that must be met to properly file an appeal. The appeal must be filed with the correct fee at the office that made the original decision. You may file a brief in support of the appeal. The notice of appeal must state the specific reasons which the appeal is based. Failure to do this may lead to a summary dismissal of the appeal. After review, the appellate authority may agree with you and change the original decision, disagree with you and affirm the original decision, or send the matter back to the original office for further action.

An appeal may also be dismissed if it is patently frivolous. The appeal must be filed on form I-290B, with the proper filing fee, within 30 days of the service of notice of the denial.

BIOGRAPHY: Betty Chu, Esq. is an Associate at Wilner & O'Reilly, a firm specializing in Immigration Law. She is a member of the Los Angeles and Orange County Bar Associations and has been admitted to practice law in the Central and Southern Districts of California. Ms. Chu received her Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from UCLA. She previously served on the American Bar Association's Negotiation Competitions Committee. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

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