The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the US Department of Justice which is responsible for deciding whether immigrants are deportable/removable from the United States. The agency includes the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO).
The principal function of the Immigration Courts is to conduct removal (deportation) proceedings, which are administrative proceedings to determine the removability of individuals in the United States. The BIA decides cases on appeal from the Immigration Courts.
If you are in removal proceedings, it is important to obtain competent counsel to represent you in Immigration Court. The government is always represented by an attorney (Mr. Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82). Persons who represent themselves in court or hire an inexperienced deportation attorney to save money are being penny-wise, pound-foolish. If the Immigration Judge finds them removable and denies their application for relief from removal, they can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). However, the attorney who handles the appeal with not be able introduce new evidence or call any witnesses. He will have to work with the transcript of the hearing, and write an appeal brief.
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“Very professional law firm. We had a difficult issue and Mr. Shusterman’s office got right onto the case and resolved the issue with USCIS. Because of their efforts, me and my family were able to get our Legal Permanent Residency card. My suggestion to those trying to obtain employment based card. Don’t look for money saving attorney. They will cost you lot more in long run. Go to a law firm which is professional and knowledgeable. It pays in the long term.”
- Nilesh Patel, Chicago, Illinois
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Another alternative, available is some matters, is to submit either Motion to Reopen if new facts occur after the Judge decides the case, or a Motion to Reconsider if there is a change in the law.
In most cases, there are strict time limits that must be followed in submitting Appeals and Motions to Reopen/Reconsider. However, these time limits do not necessarily when a person loses a case because of “ineffective assistance of counsel” or because the Court failed to give proper notice of the hearing and the “respondent” failed to appear.
Some, but not all, cases denied by the BIA may be challenged in the U.S. Courts of Appeals.
The BIA also hears appeals of certain types of petitions for immigration appeals. For example, if an I-130 relative visa petition is denied by the USCIS, the petitioner may appeal the denial to the BIA.
OCAHO is comprised of Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who conduct hearings regarding:
- I-9 violations by employers;
- Anti-discrimination and document abuse violations;
- Immigration document fraud violations.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review implemented the EOIR Courts & Appeals System (ECAS) in 2018. Electronic filing (e-filing) became mandatory for all lawyers practicing before EOIR on February 11, 2022. Previously, electronic filing was voluntary but highly encouraged.
EOIR Courts & Appeals System – ECAS
- EOIR COURTS & APPEALS SYSTEM (ECAS) – ONLINE FILING
- Welcome to EOIR – User Registration
- 4 Ways ECAS Makes Accessing Information Easier
- ECAS – Updates and Enhancements
- ECAS User Manual (Updated 7/10/21)
- ECAS FAQs
General Resources – EOIR
- Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Home Page
- How to Request a Record of Proceedings
- How to Request a Bond
- How to File an Appeal to the BIA
- How to File a Motion to Reopen/Reconsider to the BIA
- EOIR Facebook Page
- Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Page
- Fraud Prevention and Attorney Discipline Programs
- EOIR Phone Numbers
- Virtual Law Library And Immigration Resource Center
- Operating Policies And Procedures Memoranda (OPPM) Log
- Monthly “Immigration Law Advisor”
- EOIR Statistics Yearbooks
- Professional Conduct for Practitioners—Rules and Procedures,
and Representation and Appearances FAQ (November 2022)
- EOIR Announces Appointment of Sheila McNulty as Chief Immigration Judge (4-26-23)
- EOIR to Hold National Stakeholder Meeting Regarding Records Requests (7-14-22)
- EOIR Announces Appointment of Mary Cheng as Deputy Director (4-11-22)
- DOJ and DHS Issue Rule to Efficiently and Fairly Process Asylum Claims (3-24-22)
- Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Announces Appointment of David Neal as EOIR Director (9-24-21)
- EOIR Launches FOIA Public Access Link (8-25-21)
- EOIR Announces New Chief Immigration Judge (7-02-20)
- EOIR Proposes Interim Final Rule to Add Two Members to BIA (3-31-20)
- The Basics of Motions to Reopen Government-Issued Removal Orders (2-07-18)
- Return to Rule of Law in Trump Administration Marked by Increase in Key Immigration Statistics (8-08-17)
- Expansion of Legal Orientation Program Sites (10-22-14)
- Announcement of Changes Due to the Lapse in Federal Government Funding (10-25-13)
- Headquarters Announces New 20530 Zip Code (9-11-13)
- TRAC Report: Legal Noncitizens Receive Longest ICE Detention (6-3-13)
- Online Registration for Immigration Practitioners (5-14-13)
- ABT Class Notice (9-27-13)
- Memo on Continuances and Administrative Closure (3-7-13)
- Procedures on Handling Applications for Suspension/Cancellation in Non-Detained Cases Once Numbers are no Longer Available in Fiscal Year (2-3-12)
- Juan Osuna Named New EOIR Director (5-17-11)
- FY 2010 Statistical Year Book (January 2011) Statistical Yearbooks (2000 – Present)
- Juan Osuna Appointed as Acting Director (12-23-10)
- Bush Plan to Reform Immigration Courts Lag (TRAC) – (September 8, 2008)
- Fact Sheet: Improvement Measures –– Progress Overview (September 8, 2008)
- An Investigation of Allegations of Politicized Hiring by Monica Goodling and Other Staff in the Office of the Attorney General (US Department of Justice) – (July 28, 2008)
- 22 Measures To Improve The Immigration Courts and The BIA (August 9, 2006)
- Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales Outlines Reforms for Immigration Courts and Board of Immigration Appeals (August 9, 2006)
- EOIR/AILA Liaison Meetings Q & A’s (2000 – Present)
- Ethics Manual For BIA Members, Immigration Judges, and ALJs (April 2001)
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.