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Administrative Appeals Office Practice Manual


The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) released its first Practice Manual, which describes the rules, procedures, and recommendations for practice before the AAO. The manual can be found at:

The AAO Practice Manual is separated into seven (7) chapters:

1. Chapter 1 – Provides an overview of the AAO, including its history and the AAO’s jurisdiction;

2. Chapter 2 – Provides guidance for attorneys and other accredited representatives about representing parties before the AAO;

3. Chapter 3 – Provides information about appeals;

4. Chapter 4 – Provides information about motions to reopen and motions to reconsider;

5. Chapter 5 – Provides information about certifications to the AAO;

6. Chapter 6 – Provides contact information for the AAO;

7. Chapter 7 – Provides additional resources.

To make it easier to find specific information, the PDF format of the AAO Practice Manual has a keyword search function, table of contents, and links to relevant Immigration and Nationality Act and Code of Federal Regulations sections. In general, citations to statutes, regulations, case law, authoritative sources, and other explanatory references can be found in the footnotes.

The AAO Practice Manual will be updated periodically. The public may submit comments or suggestions to improve the manual by mail or fax using “AAO Practice Manual” in the subject heading. See Chapter 6.1 of the AAO Practice Manual for contact information.

Please note that the AAO Practice Manual does not have legal force and does not replace or modify any legal authority or USCIS policy. The AAO Practice Manual should only be used for informational purposes.

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