The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has the authority to stay orders of voluntary departure by immigration judges or the Board of Immigration Appeals, the court has ruled.

Addressing an issue of first impression, the court said, in Thapa v. Gonzales, 06-1973-ag, it had such authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The decision extends the 60-day period in which a person must leave the country as long as that person has an appeal pending.