Generally, if you are appealing a negative decision from an immigration judge to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the removal process is automatically stayed (stopped). The appeal has to be filed within 30 days of the judge’s ruling. However, mistakes do happen and it is not unheard of for someone to be deported while their appeal is pending.

If you lose your case with the BIA, you have 30 days to appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals. You can be deported during this 30- day window, so it is important that you file your appeal quickly. You will have to file a “stay of removal” while your appeal is pending with the U.S. Court of Appeals, to be safe from deportation while you wait. However, filing a “stay of removal” is risky as it could prompt the government to arrest you and keep you detained while waiting for the decision. If you lose, this allows a quick deportation process, as you are already in custody.