Introduction to AAO Appeal

When facing a decision from a USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer that you disagree with, you have the option to file an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Understanding this process is crucial for individuals seeking to challenge unfavorable decisions regarding immigration matters.

Understanding the AAO Appeal Process

What is AAO Appeal?

An AAO appeal is a recourse available to individuals who wish to challenge USCIS decisions on immigration matters. It provides an avenue for seeking review of decisions made by USCIS officers.

Who Can File an AAO Appeal?

Any individual or entity affected by a USCIS decision can file an AAO appeal. This includes applicants for various immigration benefits, petitioners, and beneficiaries.

Reasons for Filing an AAO Appeal

Common reasons for filing an AAO appeal include denials of visa petitions, adjustment of status applications, or other immigration benefits. Appeals can also be filed in response to revocations or denials of previously approved applications.

Steps to File an AAO Appeal

Gathering Necessary Documents

Before initiating the appeal process, gather all relevant documents, including the USCIS decision, supporting evidence, and any correspondence related to the case.

Completing the Appeal Form

Fill out Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, accurately and completely. Provide detailed explanations and attach supporting documentation as required.

Submission Process

Submit the completed form along with the necessary filing fee to the appropriate USCIS office within the specified timeframe. Ensure compliance with all instructions to avoid delays or rejection of the appeal.

Understanding the Review Process

Initial Review

Upon receipt of the appeal, the AAO conducts an initial review to determine whether it meets the eligibility criteria and contains all required information.

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Additional Requests

If additional information or documentation is needed, the AAO may request it from the appellant or other relevant parties.

Final Decision

After thorough review and consideration of the appeal, the AAO issues a final decision, either affirming, reversing, or remanding the USCIS decision.

Tips for a Successful AAO Appeal

Accuracy and Completeness of Information

Ensure that all information provided in the appeal is accurate and complete. Any discrepancies or omissions could weaken the case.

Providing Strong Evidence

Include compelling evidence to support your arguments and refute any erroneous findings made by USCIS. Strong documentation can significantly strengthen your appeal.

Professional Assistance

Consider seeking assistance from an experienced immigration attorney or accredited representative to navigate the complex AAO appeal process effectively.


Filing an AAO appeal can be a complex and challenging process, but it provides a vital opportunity to challenge unfavorable USCIS decisions. By understanding the appeal process, gathering necessary documentation, and following best practices, individuals can increase their chances of success in obtaining a favorable outcome.


  1. Can I file an AAO appeal for any USCIS decision?
    • Yes, you can file an AAO appeal for most USCIS decisions related to immigration benefits, petitions, or applications.
  2. How long does the AAO appeal process take?
    • The timeframe for the AAO appeal process can vary depending on various factors, including caseload and complexity. It may take several months to receive a final decision.
  3. What happens if my AAO appeal is denied?
    • If your AAO appeal is denied, you may have limited options for further review. Consulting with an immigration attorney can help explore alternative strategies.
  4. Is there a fee for filing an AAO appeal?
    • Yes, there is a filing fee associated with submitting Form I-290B for an AAO appeal. Check the USCIS website for the current fee amount.
  5. Can I submit new evidence during the AAO appeal process?
    • In general, new evidence cannot be submitted during the AAO appeal process. It’s essential to provide all relevant documentation with the initial appeal.