Appeals, Motions To Reopen And Motions To Reconsider


An appeal is a request to a higher authority to review a decision.

Motion to Reopen
A motion to reopen is a request to the original decision maker to review a decision. The motion must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances, and “state the new facts to be provided in the reopened proceedings and be supported by affidavits or other documentary evidence.”

If the underlying application or petition was denied due to abandonment (e.g. failure to respond timely to a request for evidence or a notice of intent to deny), a motion to reopen may be filed if it can be shown that:
  • The requested evidence was not material,
  • The required initial evidence was submitted with the application or petition,
  • The request for appearance or additional evidence was complied with during the allotted period, or
  • The request for evidence or appearance was not sent to the address of record.

Motion to Reconsider
A motion to reconsider is a request to the original decision maker to review a decision based on new or additional legal arguments. The motion must establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence of record at the time of that decision, and it must state the reasons for reconsideration. A motion to reconsider must be supported by “any pertinent precedent decisions to establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or [USCIS] policy.” Unlike a motion to reopen, new evidence or changed circumstances cannot support the filing of a motion to reconsider.