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An Overview of the Appeal and Motion Processes

Filing an Appeal or Motion

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certifies and monitors schools to ensure that they comply with federal regulations. If SEVP finds that a petitioning or certified school does not meet regulatory standards, it will issue a decision to deny the affected school’s Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Students,” or withdraw its SEVP certification. In many cases, a school may file an appeal or motion to reopen and/or reconsider the following unfavorable decisions issued by SEVP:

  • Notice of Denial.
  • Automatic Withdrawal (AW).
  • Withdrawal on Notice (WON).

When SEVP sends a school a denial or withdrawal, the notice also includes reasons for the unfavorable decisions, an explanation of the school’s rights, and the applicable appeal and motion filing information and deadlines.

An appeal is a request that the original deciding body and the Administrative Appeals Team (AAT), which is independent from the original deciding body, review the unfavorable decision and how the regulations were applied to the affected school.

A motion is a request for the original deciding body to review the unfavorable Notice of Denial, Automatic Withdrawal, Withdrawal on Notice or issued appeal decision.

Please note that only individuals with legal standing at the school may file a motion or appeal on behalf of the school. For more details about filing a motion or an appeal, including information pertaining to time frames and requirements, please visit the Appeals page on ICE.gov and review the frequently asked questions.

Appeal and Motion Time Frames

The review process ensures that each school’s specific situation is given maximum consideration. Because of the complexity of each appeal or motion, and the nuances of each school's situation, AAT is unable to provide exact time frames regarding when a final decision will be issued. However, schools with an open appeal can use the School Appeal Status Tracker on Study in the States to follow the progress of their specific appeal.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the appeal or motion process, please contact AAT at Appeals.AdminTeam@ice.dhs.gov.

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