What is Form I-290B used for?
Form I-290B, officially known as the “Notice of Appeal or Motion,” is used by individuals seeking to appeal a USCIS decision on their immigration case.
It is commonly used in the context of various immigration applications and petitions.
Here are some situations in which Form I-290B might be used:
- Appeal of a Denied Petition or Application: If USCIS denies an immigration petition or application, the petitioner or applicant may file Form I-290B to appeal the decision.
- Motion to Reopen: If there is new and relevant evidence that was not available at the time of the initial decision, an individual may file a motion to reopen their case using Form I-290B.
- Motion to Reconsider: If there is evidence to show that USCIS made an error in its decision, an individual may file a motion to reconsider the decision using Form I-290B.
Who can file Form I-290B?
The following individuals may file Form I-290B:
- Appeal of a Denied Petition or Application: If USCIS denies an immigration petition or application, the petitioner or applicant may file Form I-290B to appeal the decision. This could apply to various immigration forms, such as family-based petitions, employment-based petitions, or other immigration benefits applications.
- Motion to Reopen: If there is new and relevant evidence that was not available at the time of the initial decision, individuals may file a motion to reopen their case using Form I-290B. This allows them to present new information that may impact the decision.
- Motion to Reconsider: If there is evidence to show that USCIS made an error in its decision, individuals may file a motion to reconsider the decision using Form I-290B. This is typically used when there is a belief that the initial decision was based on incorrect information or misinterpretation of the law.
It’s important to note that not all USCIS decisions can be appealed using Form I-290B.
In a denial notice, USCIS typically informs the petitioner or applicant if Form I-290B can be filed.
Who cannot file Form I-290B?
Form I-290B, “Notice of Appeal or Motion,” cannot be filed in the following situations:
- Decisions with No Right of Appeal: Some USCIS decisions do not have a right of appeal. If a decision explicitly states that it is not appealable, filing Form I-290B may not be an option. In such cases, applicants may need to explore other legal avenues, such as refiling the application or pursuing alternative options.
- Timely Filing: USCIS imposes strict deadlines for filing appeals or motions. If an individual fails to file Form I-290B within the specified timeframe, the appeal may be considered untimely, and it may be rejected or denied solely on the basis of the late filing.
- Beneficiaries: Form I-290B cannot be filed by a beneficiary or beneficiary’s attorney. Only the petitioner or applicant can file Form I-290B. In a family-sponsored immigration petition, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident (petitioner) files a petition on behalf of their family member (beneficiary), such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. In an employment-based immigration petition, a U.S. employer (petitioner) files a petition for a foreign worker (beneficiary) to come to the U.S. for employment.
- Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA): Individuals filing appeals with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) cannot file Form I-290B. They must instead file Form EOIR-29 to appeal a USCIS decision on a Form I-130 or Form I-360 Widow(er).
- Visa Denial: Form I-290B cannot be used to appeal the denial of a U.S. visa application by a U.S. embassy or consulate.
How much is the appeal fee for Form I-290B?
Form I-290B filing fee is $675.
Exception: no filing fee for special immigrants (Iraqi or Afghan nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government).
Acceptable forms of payment:
- Money order
- Personal check
- Cashier’s check
- Pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions.
If you pay by check, it must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
USCIS filing fees are subject to change, check the most recent Form I-290B fees on the USCIS website (“Filing Fee”)
Form I-290B checklist of documents
Here is a general checklist of required documents for Form I-290B application (submit photocopies only):
|If filing motions
|If filing appeals
How to file Form I-290B
Filing Form I-290B involves the following steps:
Step 1. Obtain the Latest Form:
- Download the most recent edition of Form I-290B from the USCIS website
- Ensure that you are using the most recent edition, as using an outdated version may result in delays and rejections
Step 2. Gather Supporting Documents:
- Collect all the necessary supporting documents (see the checklist above)
- Unless directed otherwise, submit only photocopies of the documents
Step 3. Complete the Form:
- Fill out Form I-290B accurately and completely
- Provide all required information, and double-check for accuracy before submission
- If a question does not apply to your situation, mark it as “N/A” (not applicable)
- Sign and date the form in ink. Form I-290B must be signed by the petitioner or applicant
- Unsigned or undated forms will be rejected by USCIS
- USCIS does not accept computer-generated or stamped signatures
- Fill out and submit Form G-1145 to receive an electronic notification (text message or email) containing USCIS receipt number
Step 4. Pay the Filing Fee:
- Check the most current filing fee for Form I-290B on the USCIS website
- Acceptable forms of payment include: money order, personal check, cashier’s check or credit card payment (fill out Form G-1450)
- If paying by check, the check must be payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Step 5. Submit the Application:
- Mail the completed Form I-290B along with the required supporting documents and the filing fee to the correct filing address
- It’s recommended to mail the application via express mail with a tracking number
- Make a copy of the completed application for your records
Step 6. USCIS Review:
- If you submitted Form G-1145 with your application, 1-2 weeks after the submission you will receive a text message or email from USCIS with your Form I-290B receipt notice. Check your spam folder
- USCIS will mail the receipt notice 2-3 weeks after the submission date
- You can track the status of your application online by entering the Form I-290B receipt number
Step 7. Notification of Decision:
- USCIS will notify you of its decision on the Form I-290B application by mail
What are the chances of getting Form I-290B approved?
You can see the AAO (Administrative Appeals Office) appeal statistics for the last 5 years on the USCIS website.
The approval of Form I-290B, the “Notice of Appeal or Motion,” depends on the specific circumstances of the case, the grounds for the appeal or motion, and whether the petitioner or applicant can provide compelling evidence or legal arguments to support their request.
There is no guaranteed outcome, and the success of the appeal or motion varies from case to case.
Several factors can influence the chances of getting Form I-290B approved:
- Merit of the Case: The strength of the legal arguments, supporting evidence, and the overall merit of the case play a crucial role. If there is substantial evidence or a clear legal basis for the appeal or motion, it may increase the chances of approval.
- New and Relevant Evidence: In cases where a motion to reopen is filed, the submission of new and relevant evidence that was not available at the time of the initial decision can impact the outcome. This evidence should be significant and directly related to the case.
- Procedural Errors or Misinterpretation of Law: If there are procedural errors in the USCIS decision or if it can be demonstrated that there was a misinterpretation of the law, it may strengthen the case for approval.
- Timeliness: Filing Form I-290B within the prescribed time frame is crucial. Missing the deadline can result in the appeal or motion being rejected.
- Legal Assistance: Seeking guidance from an experienced immigration attorney can significantly enhance the chances of success. An attorney can help formulate strong legal arguments, gather relevant evidence, and navigate the complexities of the immigration appeals process.
How long does it take to process Form I-290B?
The majority of Form I-290B applications are processed within 6 months. You can find the most recent AAO Processing Times on the USCIS website:
Completed 0-180 Days
|Cumulative total of all completions
|Petition for CNMI Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker
|Petition for Fiancée
|Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker
|Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee
|Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker
|Athletes, Artists and Entertainers
|Nonimmigrant International Cultural Exchange
|Nonimmigrant Religious Worker
|Application for Travel Document
|Alien with Extraordinary Ability
|Outstanding Professor or Researcher
|Multinational Manager or Executive
|Advanced Degree Professional
|National Interest Waiver
|Application to Reapply for Admission
|Special Immigrant Juvenile
|Petition for Religious Worker
|Special Immigrant – Afghan Nationals who were Employed by or on Behalf of the U.S. Government in Afghanistan
|Violence Against Women Act Petition
|I-485 SEC 13
|Sec. 13 of the Act of 1957 (Diplomats)
|Adjustment of Status of T Nonimmigrants
|Adjustment of Status of U Nonimmigrants
|Petition for Orphan
|Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility
|Application of 212(e) Waiver
|Temporary Protected Status
|Application for T Nonimmigrant Status
|Application for Family Member of T-1 Recipient
|Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status
|Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document
|Certificate of Citizenship
|Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322
What happens if my Form I-290B is denied?
If your Form I-290B, the “Notice of Appeal or Motion,” is denied, the next steps may vary depending on the nature of your case:
- Refile or Reapply: In some situations, it might be possible to refile the same application or petition, especially if the denial was based on a technical error or missing documentation. Alternatively, you may consider reapplying under a different immigration category.
- Review of Denial Reasons: Understanding the specific reasons for the denial is crucial. This information will guide your next steps, whether it involves correcting errors, addressing concerns, or presenting a stronger case in the future.
- Consider Legal Advice: After a denial, it is advisable to consult with an immigration attorney to assess your options. An attorney can review the reasons for the denial and provide guidance on whether any further legal action, such as filing a lawsuit in federal court, is appropriate.
- Reevaluation of Options: Depending on the circumstances, you may need to reevaluate your immigration options. This could involve exploring alternative pathways, seeking other forms of relief, or addressing any issues that led to the denial.
What happens after a motion to reopen (Form I-290B) is approved?
If a motion to reopen filed using Form I-290B is approved, the specific outcomes and next steps will depend on the circumstances of the case:
- Reconsideration of the Original Decision: The approval of a motion to reopen typically means that USCIS will reconsider the original decision in light of the new evidence or circumstances presented. If the motion is granted, USCIS may reverse its previous denial and approve the underlying petition or application.
- New Decision: USCIS may issue a new decision based on the additional evidence or information provided in the motion to reopen. The new decision could be an approval, a denial, or a request for further evidence or documentation.
- Notification to the Petitioner or Applicant: USCIS will provide written notification to the petitioner or applicant regarding the outcome of the motion to reopen. This notification will include details about the new decision and any further instructions or actions required.
- Implementation of the Decision: If the motion to reopen results in the approval of an immigration petition or application, USCIS will proceed with the necessary steps to implement the decision. This may include the issuance of approval notices, the updating of records, and other relevant actions.
- Continuation of the Immigration Process: If the motion to reopen is successful, the immigration process can continue based on the new decision. For example, if it involves a family-based petition, the case may move forward with visa processing or adjustment of status. In employment-based cases, the approval may lead to further processing for employment authorization (EAD) or adjustment of status.