Board of Immigration Appeals Law and Legal Definition

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is an administrative appellate bodt within the U.S. Department of Justice. It is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws in the U.S. The BIA is located in Virginia.

The BIA has been given nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals from certain decisions rendered by immigration judges and by district directors of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a wide variety of proceedings in which the Government of the United States is one party and the other party is an alien, a citizen, or a business firm. Ordinarily, the BIA does not conduct courtroom proceedings. it decides appeals by conducting a paper review of cases. However, the BIA hears oral arguments of appealed cases in exceptional circumstances.

The BIA decisions are binding on all DHS officers and immigration judges unless modified or overruled by the Attorney General or a federal court. Most BIA decisions are subject to judicial review in the federal courts. The majority of appeals reaching the BIA involve orders of removal and applications for relief from removal. Other cases before the BIA include the exclusion of aliens applying for admission to the United States, petitions to classify the status of alien relatives for the issuance of preference immigrant visas, fines imposed upon carriers for the violation of immigration laws, and motions for reopening and reconsideration of decisions previously rendered.