Who can appeal a visa denial under US immigration law?

Applying for a visa is a lengthy process. The wait may feel worth it in the long run for those who successfully obtain their visas to come to Louisiana, but what about hopeful immigrants whose applications are denied? Appeals are an integral part of U.S. immigration law that can give people a second chance at coming to America. 

An appeal of a visa application denial can only be filed by the person who filed the original application or petition. If it was in an individual, then that person must make the appeal. Companies who filed the application on a potential employee’s behalf are responsible for appealing any denied work visas. Applicants must also notify the courts of their intentions to use legal counsel, which must be done through an official form at the time of the appeal. 

There is also a specific timeline that people must adhere to. In the vast majority of cases, appeals have to be filed within 30 days of the decision. However, if the applicant was notified of the denial through the mail, then he or she has 33 days in which to submit an appeal. The time frame is a little different for people who already have approved immigrant petitions. If that approval is revoked, they have only 15 days — 18 if notified by mail — to submit an appeal. 

If the correct person files an appeal within the correct time frame, the appellate court authority will review the request and issue a decision. The hope is that the appellate authority will agree with the appeal and reverse the original denial. It is also possible for the appellate court to remand a person’s case to be reviewed again. However, it is also possible for an appeal to be denied, reaffirming the original denial. 

Appeals are an important opportunity for people whose initial visa applications were denied. Although the time allotted for filing an appeal may feel short, individuals should put the same care and attention into the process as they did with their initial applications. Since navigating this and other aspects of U.S. immigration law can be especially confusing and overwhelming, working alongside a knowledgeable Louisiana attorney can help ensure that procedures are followed correctly.