Motion To Reopen

Motion to Reopen

A motion to reopen asks the Immigration Court to reopen proceedings after the Immigration Judge has rendered a decision, so that the Immigration Judge can consider new facts or evidence in the case.

Motion to Reopen vs Motion to Reconsider

A motion to reopen is based on documentary evidence of new facts that were not known at the time of the original hearing

A motion to reconsider is based on a claim of incorrect application of law or policy to the prior decision – e.g. denial of constitutional rights..

Motion to Reopen

A motion to reopen is not granted unless it appears to the Immigration Judge that the evidence offered is material and was not available and could not have been discovered or presented at an earlier stage in the proceedings.

As a general rule, a motion to reopen must be filed within 90 days of an Immigration Judge’s final order, however, there are some exceptions under which the time frame can be extended.

Common grounds for filing a motion to reopen among other things are:

  • Suspension of deportation 
  • Asylum and withholding of removal 
  • Relief under the U.N. Convention Against Torture
  • Adjustment of status
  • NACARA 203 relief, or
  • Ineffective assistance of counsel.

Please note that the immigrant is not entitled to reopen his or her case on any of these grounds unless there are new or changed facts that were not raised during the original hearing.

If the immigration judge grants a motion to reopen the immigrant will be allowed to present the new evidence and the immigration judge will rule on the case based on the new evidence presented.

Motion to Reconsider

A motion to reconsider a case in immigration court can be filed when the immigrant and his legal counsel believe that the judge incorrectly applied:

  • The wrong legal standard
  • Standard to the evidence
  • Federal immigration policy

Typically, a motion to reconsider must be brought within 30 calendar days of the date of entry of a final administrative order of removal, deportation, or exclusion.

Although a motion to reconsider can be filed alone, they are commonly filed in conjunction with a Motion to reopen.