Motions to reopen or reconsider

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
If you’re facing deportation but have evidence that can alter the court’s decision against you, you’re entitled to appeal the decision and receive another opportunity to present your case before the judge. For example, suppose that your asylum application was denied and you appealed the judge’s decision. While the appeal is pending, you marry an American citizen and the Immigration and Naturalization Service verifies that your marriage is authentic. You can submit a motion to the court to reopen your case so that you can apply for a green card now that you’re married to a U.S. citizen. Similarly, suppose that after a judge’s denial of your asylum appeal, the federal courts grant an asylum request to an individual with a similar case as yours. You could submit a motion to reconsider your case in light of the recent court decision. In order to make a motion to reopen or reconsider your deportation proceedings, you must file a written motion that either set out new evidence that wasn’t previously available or states why you feel that there was an erroneous interpretation of the law. You’re limited to a single motion to reopen your case and a single motion to reconsider your case during the entire deportation proceedings. Furthermore, you have 30 days from the time that the decision to deport you is made to file a motion to reconsider your case. With a few exceptions you may have 90 days from that decision to file a motion. Exceptions to the time and number of restrictions exist for certain asylum seekers where their home country’s conditions have changed.

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