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Motions to Reopen or Reconsider

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Let's talk about motions to reopen and or reconsider.

Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in Saint Louis, Missouri. You do everything you can to get your case approved, and for whatever reason USCIS denies your case.

They give you the opportunity to within 30 days file a motion to reopen or reconsider. And the question is are these motions effective? Do they work? Do you get relief that you want when you file a motion to reopen or reconsider?

So in those scenarios you are not going to get much relief. I am not a big believer in motions to reconsider or reopen. And the reason for that is there's no timeline, there's no deadline.

USCIS can sit on a denied case that you appeal through a motion to reopen or reconsider. So just be clear, they're called motion three opener reconsider, but ultimately what they are is an appeal.

You do have the chance to submit additional evidence in support of your application, but these are all sent to this place called the Administrative Appeals Office. And that is a place where immigration cases go to die.

So in our office, we always look long and hard before we ever file a motion to reopen or reconsider. And there's several reasons for that.

Number one, like I said, the case can drag on forever. There's no deadline. Number two, more often than not, many, many times they're just going to sit on their prior decision and not reverse themselves.

And what we'd rather do is have people file a new application if possible, and file a stronger application if possible, or to sue in federal court if that's a possibility.

So there's some cases that, when they're denied, you can actually sue in federal court and get a federal judge to look at it and not the Administrative Appeals Office.

The Administrative Appeals Office just does whatever they want. And in fact, one other problem with, even in situations where we've won at the Administrative Appeals Office, they kick it back to USCIS.

Even though it's all USCIS, they keep it back to the department that had your case before and then that is just more and more delay.

So you might have a ticking clock. You might need a new work authorization. You might need to get your case moving faster. So you might think about filing a lawsuit or filing a whole new application.

And these are tools in the immigration lawyer's toolbox that are pretty sophisticated and pretty complicated. So just to be clear, your motion to reopen reconsider is most likely going to be denied.

It's certainly going to be delayed, and you're going to see that you're just spinning your wheels and wasting your time.

I had a consult with a guy who had placed much hope in his motion to reconsider a denied I-130 based on whether or not he was properly divorced from his first spouse.

And so I think that motions to reopen and reconsider are generally a bad idea. If you have questions about this, give us a call at (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected]

Hey and before I finish up, let me just say one other thing, because there will invariably be people who say, "Jim, I won my case on a motion to reopen or reconsider." I'm sure that's true. I'm sure that did happen.

And in fact, we've had many cases get reversed by the Administrative Appeals Office, but that's not the point of this video. The point of this video is to say that you're probably going to be delayed and most cases are denied.

So just because your buddy Abdullah got his case reversed on a motion to reopen or reconsider, it doesn't mean you will. So if you have questions about that, like I said, give us a call. You can also find us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home.

Or if you liked this video, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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