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Chapter 1 - The Board of Immigration Appeals

1.6 - Inquiries

(a) All Communications — All inquiries to the Board must contain or provide the following information for each respondent:

  •  complete name (as it appears on the charging document or petition)
  •  A-number, if applicable
  •  type of proceeding (removal, deportation, exclusion, bond, visa petition)

See also Chapter 3.3(c)(6) (Cover page and caption).  If a party has more than one case before the Board, the inquiry must specify which case is the subject of the inquiry.

(b) Telephone Calls — Most questions to the Board can be answered through one of two automated phone numbers, Automated Case Information Hotline (also known as the “1-800 phone number”) and “BIA TIPS”.  See Appendix H (Hotlines).  Requests for action must be in writing unless there is an emergency situation.  See generally Chapter 6 (Stays and Expedite Requests).  Requests for information may be made in writing or telephonically, pursuant to the procedures set forth below.  Collect calls are not accepted.

          (1) Simple inquiries — 

(A) Automated Case Information Hotline — The Automated Case Information Hotline provides information about the status of cases before an immigration judge or the Board.  See Appendix A (Directory), Appendix H (Hotlines).  The Automated Case Information Hotline contains a phone menu (in English and Spanish) covering most kinds of cases.  The caller must provide the A-number of the respondent involved. A‑numbers have nine digits (e.g., A234 567 890).  Formerly, A‑numbers had eight digits (e.g., A12 345 678).  In the case of an eight-digit A‑number, the caller should enter a “0” before the A-number (e.g., A012 345 678).  For cases before the Board, the Automated Case Information Hotline contains information regarding:

  • appeals of most immigration judge decisions
  • briefing deadlines
  • filing instructions

For cases before the Board, the Automated Case Information Hotline does not contain information regarding:

  • bond, interlocutory, and visa petition appeals
  • motions before the Board
  • appeals of motions to reopen or to reconsider
  • remands from a federal court to the Board

If an inquiry cannot be answered by calling the Automated Case Information Hotline, inquiries may be directed to the Clerk’s Office.  See Appendix A (Directory).  Callers must be aware that clerks, like all Board staff, are prohibited from providing any legal advice, and that no information provided by the Clerk’s Office may be construed as legal advice.

(B) BIA TIPS — The Board of Immigration Appeals Telephonic Instructions and Procedures System or “BIA TIPS” contains recorded answers to commonly asked questions, including how to file an appeal, motion, brief, change of address, or other document with the Board.  See Appendix A (Directory)Appendix H (Hotlines).  When the recorded information does not adequately answer the question, pressing “0” for the operator connects the caller with Clerk’s Office staff.

          (2) Complex inquiries — Callers must bear in mind that the Board may not engage in ex parte communications or provide legal advice.  Complex inquiries are best submitted in writing, whenever possible and appropriate.  In the event that a telephonic inquiry is inappropriate for the Clerk’s Office, the Clerk’s Office may advise a caller to submit an inquiry in writing or otherwise refer the caller to qualified personnel.  See Appendix A (Directory).

          (3) Projected processing times — Given the volume and the varying complexity of the cases before the Board, the Board cannot predict processing times upon request.  However, most parties can expect to receive a filing receipt for an appeal, a motion to reopen, or a motion to reconsider within 1-2 weeks of filing.

          (4) Inquiries to specific staff members — Because of concerns regarding ex parte communications and judicial propriety, the Board does not permit parties to communicate directly with the Board Members or other staff assigned to any given case.  For this reason, the Board does not reveal to the public the names of the Board Members or other staff who are assigned to a pending case.

          (5) Emergencies and expedite requests — The Board provides special procedures for emergency situations.  See Chapter 6 (Stays and Expedite Requests).

(c) Faxes — The Board does not accept faxes or other electronic transmissions transmitted directly to the Board without prior authorization.  Faxes that are sent to a third party and then hand-delivered to the Board are acceptable under certain circumstances.  See Chapter 3.1(a)(5) (Faxes).

(d) Mail and other forms of delivery — The Board no longer uses different addresses for different means of delivery.  All mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service, courier, overnight delivery, or hand-delivered items must be addressed to the Board’s street address.  See Appendix A (Directory).  The public should carefully observe the guidelines in Chapter 3.1(a)(3) (Where to file).  An  “attention” line indicating the intended recipient, if the name or office is known, should appear at the bottom left of the envelope or at the appropriate location on the mailing label or form.

(e) Electronic Communications — 

          (1) Internet — The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) maintains an Internet web site at  See Appendix A (Directory).  The site contains information about the Board and other components of EOIR, such as newly published regulations and Board precedent decisions, events at EOIR, and a copy of this manual.

          (2) EOIR Courts & Appeals System (ECAS) — The EOIR Courts & Appeals System (ECAS) is a suite of EOIR web-based applications that allows attorneys and fully accredited representatives to electronically register with EOIR, access case information and hearing calendars, as well as electronically file documents and view electronic records of proceedings (eROPs) in eligible cases.  Similarly, these web-based applications provide access for authorized DHS users.  Access to these applications is available on EOIR’s website at

(3) Electronic Registry (eRegistry) — Attorneys and fully accredited representatives who are accredited to appear before EOIR must electronically register with EOIR in order to appear before the Board.  eRegistry is the online process that is used to electronically register with EOIR.  See Chapter 2.1(b) (Entering an Appearance).

          (4) E-mail — The Board does not correspond with the public through e‑mail communications except in the following instances:

  • E-mail generated through the ECAS suite of web-based applications.  See subsection (2), above.
  • Parties request of a copy of the official record of proceedings.  See Chapter 1.5(e)(3) (Copies for parties).  Note that this email address is only to be used to request a copy of the official record of proceedings.

          (5) Faxes — See subsections (c), above.

          (6) Automated Case Information system (ACIS) — The Automated Case Information system (ACIS) provides information about the status of cases (in English and Spanish) before immigration judges and the Board.  The information on ACIS is similar to the information provided by telephone via the Automated Case Information Hotline.  See Chapter 1.6(b)(1)(A) (Automated Case Information Hotline).  Access to ACIS is available on EOIR’s website at

(f) Emergencies and Expedite Requests — If imminent deportation or other impending circumstances require urgent Board action, parties should follow the procedures set forth in Chapter 6 (Stays and Expedite Requests).