People can request their immigration records for many reasons. For instance, you may be planning to file an immigration application or need to defend yourself against deportation. If you fall under these categories, you may wonder, how can I get a copy of my immigration records? Read below to learn more, from FOIA requests to outright refusals.
FOIA stands for the “Freedom of Information Act.” You can submit a FOIA request to obtain your immigration records from a federal agency. The primary focus of FOIA is to ensure that the government doesn’t withhold certain important documents and information from the public, including immigration records. Simply put, you have the right to your immigration records, but how do you approach the task of requesting them?
If you’re figuring out how to get a copy of immigration records, partnering with a professional FOIA lawyer is essential. This tip is helpful because obtaining your records requires completing each step correctly, such as sending the request to the appropriate federal agency.
The sea of information required with FOIA requests for immigration documents is daunting but critical. That said, trained professionals specializing in FOIA will help you take each step without making mistakes. As you’ll learn below, the titular process doesn’t always end with sending the request.
Refusal & Litigation
Once the agency receives your FOIA request, they will have 20 business days to produce the information. Even after receiving a FOIA request, the federal agency you’re contacting may refuse to produce the records in time. Thankfully, you can find a solution to this issue. For example, a FOIA attorney from Gahagan Law Firm can assist with litigation when necessary.
Even if the agency you’re requesting records from won’t oblige within the proper timeline, you still have the right to your records. Thus, you should partner with an attorney who will stay by your side to help fight your case. Not only will this help you gain more clarity throughout this process, but also more peace of mind.