Motions to Reopen

Non-citizens with final orders of removal may move in certain circumstances to have their removal proceedings reopened in order to have a new adjudication on their removability from the U.S. The circumstances in which noncitizens may file motions to reopen include changed conditions in the noncitizen’s home country that leads him or her to fear persecution there; lack of notice of the immigration court hearing at which the immigration judge ordered removal; and exceptional circumstances that caused the noncitizen not to appear an immigration court hearing. Motions to Reopen may be made on one basis or several, and are filed with the immigration court or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Filing a Motion to Reopen is extremely important for noncitizens with final removal orders who are being held in immigration detention, because they are especially vulnerable to immediate removal from the U.S.

The materials on this page will assist pro bono attorneys with every stage of filing a motion to reopen before and immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.


Sample Filings

Sample MTR: Timely, New Evidence

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Filings

Sample MTR timely exceptional circumstances

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Filings

Sample MTR In absentia lack of notice

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Filings

Sample Supplement to Timely New Evidence

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Filings

EOIR-27

Immigration Justice Campaign

A sample Entry of Appearance as an Attorney Before the Board of Immigration Appeals(BIA), to be filed with a Motion to Reopen before the BIA.

Sample Filings

EOIR-28

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Entry of Appearance as an Attorney before the Immigration Court, to be filed with a Motion to Reopen before the Immigration Court.

Sample Filings

Proposed Order

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Proposed Order, to be filed with a Motion to Reopen before the Immigration Court.

Sample Filings

Certificate of Service

Immigration Justice Campaign

Sample Certificate of Service for a Motion to Reopen.

Practice Guides

The Basics of Motions to Reopen EOIR-Issued Removal Orders

American Immigration Council

This Practice Advisory walks through the legal and procedural requirements for Motions to Reopen, and includes practical advice on what to file, and where, when, and how to file. Note that if you are seeking to reopen an in absentia removal order, there is a separate Practice Advisory for those motions.

Sample Filings

eRegistry Instructions

Immigration Justice Campaign

Instructions on how to register as an attorney with the Executive Office for Immigration Review. FIRST STEP IN REPRESENTATION.

Practice Guides

Rescinding an In Absentia Order of Removal

American Immigration Council

This Practice Advisory explains the legal and procedural requirements for filing motions to reopen in absentia removal orders.

Webinars

Motions to Reopen: An Overview

Immigration Justice Campaign

This webinar provides an introduction to the different types of motions to reopen removal orders. It assumes no prior knowledge of immigration law.

Webinars

Slides for Motions to Reopen Webinar

Immigration Justice Campaign 

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Case Law

MATTER OF LOZADA, 19 I&N DEC 637 (BIA 1988)

Board of Immigration Appeals

The seminal Board of Immigration Appeals case laying out the substantive and procedural requirements for filing Motions to Reopen based on ineffective assistance of prior counsel.

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