Your immigration brief’s formatting is as important as its content. If you want your brief to move smoothly through the applicable court, you need to know not only what information to submit but on what paper to submit it.
The color of your brief’s paper may not impact the speed at which it reaches an applicable judge. Understanding the role color plays in the immigration process can make it easier to process developments in your case, though.
With that in mind, New Frontier Immigration Law can help you determine what color you should use in your immigration brief.
The Role of Color in Immigration Briefs
The Ninth Circuit considers formatting to be as important to the value of a brief as the brief’s content. While some of the rules of brief formatting may seem antiquated, taking paper color into consideration can help you move your case forward more quickly than it might otherwise.
It’s worth noting, however, that while these colors are traditionally associated with these documents, The Board of Immigration Appeals (B.I.A.) Chapter 12 states that no submitting party is required to color their paper according to its subject. If you choose to do so, make sure that your paper matches your document’s intent.
The colors most often used for immigration briefs and their affiliated documents include:
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Notice of Appeal
Notice of appeals filed to the Ninth Circuit are most often printed on blue paper. These documents, Form EOIR-26, specifically appeal decisions released by immigration judges. You can work with an attorney to determine whether you need to file this form or a Form EOIR-29, designed to address decisions made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
You have 30 days from the day an immigration judge releases a verdict regarding your case to submit a notice of appeal to the appropriate clerk. Specifically, your appeal must be on the desk of the appropriate clerk within that 30-day period. Appeals postmarked within 30 days of a decision can be rejected out of hand.
Immigration Judge Decision
USCIS cases differ from those seen by immigration judges in the Ninth Circuit. These cases specifically address removals, exclusions, and deportations. Decisions made by judges addressing USCIS cases are printed on blue paper.
You can appeal these decisions by formatting a brief, much like you would if addressing your case via a Form EOIR-26. However, USCIS requires you to submit a blue Form EOIR-29 to move your case forward.
That said, 8 C.F.R §1003.37 gives you the right to present your appeal either in print or in person. You can discuss both options with an attorney to determine your best path forward.
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Appeal Fee Waiver Request
It costs up to $500 to bring an appeal before any of the courts made note of here. This cost varies depending on the form you’re presenting and to what court you want to deliver it. If you are not in the financial position to put forward the fee applicable to your case, you can work with an attorney to file an appeal fee waiver request.
You should print your request on beige or tan paper to ensure the best possible formatting. Make sure to include the required documents noted in 28 U.S.C. 1746 – such as an unsworn declaration of affidavit – to prevent a court from denying your application.
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Notice of Appearance
A notice of appearance, as applicable in immigration cases, allows an attorney to represent your best interests before an applicable judge. These documents detail an attorney’s credentials and must appear before a clerk alongside your case appeal.
Specifically, notices of appearance documents verify that the attorney representing you holds good standing with their state bar and has the education and experience to adequately represent your case.
When submitting a notice of appearance, you can bring the applicable form on yellow paper. It’s up to your attorney to fill out the details, though. Defendants and their families should have minimal interaction with this document.
Department of Human Services Decision
While Form EOIR-26s and Form EOIR-29s go to separate courts, there are some judges within the immigration circuit that accept and/or use shared documents. The Department of Human Services, for example, delivers its decisions using the same paper as USCIS.
If you want to bring a complaint up against the Department of Human Services – when addressing a denied visa, for example – you can do so by printing a Form EOIR-29 on pink paper.
This, in particular, is where paper color comes in handy. Blue paper marks a Form EOIR-29 for USCIS. You need to make sure that your form is properly formatted if you want it to appear before the right clerk.
Change of Address
The U.S. Department of Justice requires you to report a change in address if the information included in a brief or similar immigration-oriented document appears incorrect. You must submit this change of address within five days of receiving the faulty document.
Fail to submit the appropriate document, and you risk legal consequences based on a court’s inability to contact you and/or missed reporting deadlines. These documents should be printed on pink paper.
That said, change of address documents also differ from county to county and from state to state. If you can’t find the change of address document you need through the Department of Justice website, you can ask our attorneys to do some digging for you.
Discuss the Details of Your Appeal Brief With Our Team
Drafting an appeal brief can be a tenuous process. You need to abide by the formatting standards set up by the applicable courts if you want your case to run as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, it’s often easiest to expedite the brief-drafting process when you have an immigration lawyer on hand.
New Frontier Immigration Law wants to help you determine what color you should use for your immigration brief and how to format your essential documents. No question about the practices of immigration courts is too simple.
For more information about the process of filing a brief, contact our office. We’re available to discuss your case online and over the phone.