The American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) posted on its website processing times for the Administrative Appeals Office, the AAO. The AAO has authority to review certain applications denied by the US CItizenship & Immigration Service (“USCIS”). Decisions issued by the AAO have been controversial as the USCIS may or may not be bound by them as a “legal precedence” or “lawmaking authority” as the American legal system normally operates. Hence, practitioners in the field of immigration law have found the administrative appeals before the AAO as futile and time consuming process. Nonetheless, applicants and petitioners whose cases have been denied by the USCIS have the legal obligation to “exhaust their administrative remedy” before taking their cases to Federal Court to challenge the USCIS’ denial. In other words, the Federal Court system may not accept a challenge to a USCIS decision prior to having them try to resolve the matter before the AAO. Hence, the AAO appeals step is viewed by many as a necessary step, though time consuming.
Below, please find the most recent AAO Processing Times. As can be seen, it may take more than a year to review an H-1B visa case denial. An EB-2 or EB-3 I-140 denial may take 2 years to appeal before the AAO. In comparison, an alien entrepreneur petition form I-526 denial will take 6 months to appeal before the AAO.
The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA is experienced in appealing denial of cases before the Administrative Appeals Office. If your case was denied, please contact one of our experienced lawyers at 1-877-479-4USA (4872).