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How Do I File a BIA Appeal for a Denied I-130? Or Should I Just Refile the I-130?

Green Card

If your I-130 visa application is denied or rejected by US Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), you have two options — you can appeal the denial or you can refile the I-130. Whether you should appeal or refile depends on why your I-130 was denied. Many of the reasons for denial are for what can be called "paperwork problems." If this is true in your case, then it is better to refile.


Form I-130 is called a "Petition For Alien Relative." See USCIS page here. As the USCIS states, this is the form to use if you are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and you want to establish your relationship to an eligible relative -- like a spouse or child -- who wants to obtain a Permanent Resident Card (also known as a "green card"). This is among the first steps necessary to get a green card for a family member.

Reasons for USCIS Denial or Rejection

There are various reasons that a Form I-130 can be and will be rejected by the USCIS. Among the reasons are the following:

  • Form I-130 is incomplete or contains insufficient information -- if this happens, often the USCIS will send a letter asking for more information (this is called a "Request for Evidence"); but sometimes a rejection is issued
  • Improper documentation -- often, foreign government documents must be certified and translated into English; other times, poor copies and/or not-readable copies of documents are sent to the USCIS; and, other times, documents do not appear to be authentic; improper documentation will lead to rejection
  • Lack of family-member eligibility -- the USCIS will deny or reject your I-130 if the documents demonstrate lack of eligibility for the family member -- that is, the I-130 does not prove a qualifying family relationship or there is some other legal deficiency
  • Lack of petitioner's eligibility -- the USCIS will also deny or reject your I-130 if the documents demonstrate that you, the petitioner, are not eligible to petition a family member for a green card; this often is based on lack of evidence that the petitioner is citizen or lawful permanent resident; only those two categories of persons can file a Form I-130
  • Legal or factual error made by the USCIS -- USCIS officials make mistakes, overlook facts, misfile documents and make other errors; these errors can lead to denial and rejection of I-130 Petitions

As can be seen, the first two reasons for denial are caused by "paperwork problems." Typically, these problems can be fixed and, often, refiling your Form I-130 is the easiest method of overcoming a denial or rejection issued by USCIS.

On the other hand, the final three reasons for denial are more substantive and more difficult to correct by refiling your Form I-130. If any of these are the basis for denial, it may be better to appeal since refiling may result in the same rejection. Seeking the legal advice and counsel of experienced immigration attorneys is the best option for making the decision about whether to refile or to appeal.

Contact Yekrangi & Associates Today

For more information, contact the Orange County Immigration Attorneys at Yekrangi & Associates today. You are not alone and we will fight for you. Yekrangi & Associates works to meet a higher standard. Our first goal is your satisfaction. Contact us at (949) 478-4963 to schedule a consultation or complete our convenient “Get Your Consultation” form here. We are located in Irvine, California.

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