EOIR-29 Appeal of Denied I-130

Family-Based Immigration

Filing USCIS Form I-130 is how a US citizen or permanent resident establishes that a certain non-US beneficiary is his close relative. Acceptance of this petition by the USCIS is the precursor to obtaining family-based permanent residence for the beneficiary. Form I-130 is most often used to establish the marriage between a US citizen or permanent resident and a non-US spouse. If an I-130 petition is denied, there may be grounds to file a notice of appeal.

Typical Reasons for Denial of an I-130 Petition

In most cases, the I-130 is rejected due to:

  • incomplete documentation (an untranslated birth or marriage certificate, for example); or
  • the USCIS suspects fraud — a marriage entered into solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits, for example.

Other reasons are common as well; however, the foregoing two reasons are the most common grounds for the denial of an I-130 petition.

Filing a Form EOIR-29 Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C.

Assuming that your petition was not fraudulent (and we are always inclined to give our clients the benefit of the doubt whenever this issue arises), all you might need to win an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals of an adverse USCIS decision could be:

  • A completed Form EOIR-29, Notice of Appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals from a Decision of a DHS Officer, which is a notice of appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (Note: Do not confuse this form with Form EOIR-26, Notice of Appeal from a Decision of an Immigration Judge);
  • A completed Form EOIR-27, notifying the court that you have retained an attorney (note: do not confuse this with Form EOIR-28, which is used to notify an immigration court, not the Board of Immigration Appeals, of the appearance of an attorney);
  • More complete or accurate documentation (in many cases, rejected documentation results from a simple failure to follow the instructions issued by the USCIS); and/or
  • A more persuasive case presentation.

If you feel that you fully understand why your I-130 petition was rejected and know how to correct the error, you may have little to lose beyond the $110 fee to file your EOIR-29 notice of appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals. You will definitely need to ask the Board of Immigration Appeals to overturn a decision of an immigration officer that your marriage was fraudulent, at least if you plan on seeking further US immigration benefits in the future.


To win your EOIR-29 petition to the Board of Immigration Appeals, you will likely need new evidence (perhaps you can present a lease with both you and your spouse’s signatures on it, for example). Whether to appeal or to simply start all over again is a tricky decision that you shouldn’t make without consulting your immigration lawyer first.

State your case clearly

To convince the Board of Immigration Appeals, your Form EOIR-29 notice of appeal will need to state specific reasons why the USCIS was wrong to deny your petition in the first place. The three most likely reasons why the Board of Immigration Appeals might overturn a USCIS decision are:

  • The USCIS decision misapplied the law in your case;
  • The USCIS decision misapplied the facts to your case; or
  • New evidence has surfaced that adds enough weight to your petition to justify overturning the USCIS decision.

You can explain any such reasoning in your brief, and you can add extra pages to Form EOIR-29 if you need to. The importance of having an experienced immigration lawyer prepare your appeal is difficult to overemphasize.

Contact the Herman Legal Group

If you need help filing an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals, or if you have an immigration goal you’d like to achieve, contact us 24/7 from anywhere in the world by calling (+1) 216-696-6170 or (+1)(614) 300-1131 or by completing our online contact form.

If you are in town, you could also stop by one of our offices located in Columbus, Ohio, Cleveland, Ohio, or Detroit, Michigan. We serve clients located throughout the United States and elsewhere in the world.

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