After a case is decided at the level of the Board of Immigration Appeals, the parties can appeal to a higher level under certain conditions. For an immigrant who has received an unfavorable decision from the BIA, an appeal to a Circuit Court is another opportunity to extend the process and seek a different result. If the immigrant succeeds in having his/her case heard at the Circuit Court level, s/he can secure a Stay of Deportation to remain in the country until the appeal is adjudicated.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handles all appeals to the Circuit Court level that originate within its jurisdiction. The Ninth Circuit includes: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the territories of Guam and the Northern Marina Islands.
Appeals to the Ninth Circuit cannot simply be based on disagreement with the lower court's decision. In other words, discretionary judgments such as whether or not circumstances rise to the level of "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" or whether an immigrant has demonstrated "good moral character" cannot usually be appealed to this level.
However, valid issues for appeal do include denial of due process of law, equal protection under the law, ineffective counsel, and other legal protections afforded to respondents under the Bill of Rights. If you have lost an appeal to the BIA and still want to fight to stay in the United States, you should contact an immigration attorney who has experience in Ninth Circuit appeals. Our immigration lawyer can discuss your case with you and tell you if an appeal to the Ninth Circuit would be possible.