Motion to Reopen

Motion to Reopen

When USCIS denies a case, the applicant normally has the opportunity to file a motion to reopen, motion to reconsider and/or an appeal.  A motion to reopen, reconsider, or an appeal must be filed within 30 days of the unfavorable decision (or 33 days if the decision is mailed).  A late filed motion to reopen may be excused in the discretion of USCIS if the delay was reasonable and beyond the applicant’s or petitioner’s control.

Unlike appeals, which asks a new authority to review and reverse a decision, motions to reopen and/or reconsider request a review by the authority that issued the denial.  This is typically a USCIS field office or a Service Center such as Nebraska, California, Texas, or Vermont.   While an appeal normally takes at least 6 months, and in many occasions much longer, to adjudicate, a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider is typically adjudicated in 3 months or less.

A motion to reopen must state new facts and provide supporting evidence.  Merely resubmitting previously provided evidence will not meet the requirements of a motion to reopen.  A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect applicant of law or policy and that the decision was incorrect on the evidence of record at the time of decision. The applicant must provide citations to the statute, regulation, or precedent decisions to support motion to reconsider.

A motion to reopen and reconsider can be filed together. and even in addition to an appeal.  Contact us to determine which option is best for you.

Texas Service Center Operations

In a recent question and answer session, the Texas Service Center (TSC) has made some revelations regarding how they process certain immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions.

  • Motion to Reopen; Motion to Reconsider; Appeals

When filing a motion to reopen or reconsider, the officer who originally made the decision to deny the underlying case will decide the motion.  If the offier decides to deny the motion, the decision will be reviewed by a supervisor.  Where an appeal is made, the TSC will not reopen or reconsider where the Service believes it made a correct decision but will forward the appeal to the AAO.

  • Petition Denials without RFE or NOID

When an officer decides to deny a petition without sending a request for evidence or notice of intent to deny, that offier’s decision must reviewed by two supervisors before the denial notice will be issued.

  • Notice to Appear Issuance upon I-485 Denial

Generally, the TSC will wait 30 days after issuing an I-485 denial before dispatching a notice to appear (NTA).  This 30 day period provides the Applicant with an opportunity to appeal the denial before being sent to removal proceedings.