Can The FOIA Help You Immigrate To The United States?
The Freedom Of Information Act – or “FOIA,” for short – can assist an immigrant in obtaining the information they need to immigrate to the United States.
By being aware of what the FOIA constitutes, and the ways in which it can be used, an immigrant can immigrate to the United States with greater ease.
What Is The Freedom Of Information Act?
The Freedom Of Information Act is a federal statute that allows individuals and/or organizations to request access to government information that belongs to the public record.
Regardless of one’s immigration status – even non-citizens and non-permanent residents can make use of the FOIA – the information that belongs to the public record is available.
Right before an immigrant can make use of the FOIA, to assist in their immigration to the United States, it helps to be aware of which organizations to file an FOIA request for and what types of information to request.
What Organizations Should You File An FOIA Request For?
A variety of different organizations are in charge of the systems and processes that define an immigrant’s life within the United States. Out of all these different organizations, the following are the most notable:
- The United States Citizenship And Immigration Services
- Immigration And Customs Enforcement
- United States Customs
- Border Patrol
- The Immigration Court
Every single one of these organizations is directly responsible for the many facets that define an immigrant’s journey into the United States and, in turn, their life within the United States.
Right before an immigrant can file an FOIA request, though, they need to know more than just the organizations their request should be centered on: they must also know which types of information they should request.
What Types Of Information Should You File An FOIA Request For?
The act of filing an FOIA request will allow an immigrant to access a wealth of different types of information. But, even though all of this information is available, there are only a few different types of information that an immigrant should file an FOIA request for.
With the above in mind, an immigrant should file an FOIA request for the following types of information:
- Current, and former, immigration petitions.
- Current, and former, petitions for immigration-related benefits.
- Whether or not there are any active voluntary departure orders.
- Whether or not there are any active removal orders.
- One’s immigration file.
- A manifest of one’s entries and exits into and out of the United States.
- Customs records.
All of this information can assist an immigrant in accomplishing the following:
- Clarifying their current immigration status.
- Determining what information the United States government has on them.
- Making sure there aren’t any legal problems occurring.
None of this information is necessary for every immigrant. But, some immigrants may find this information useful, especially if they aren’t sure about their immigration status.
Speak With A Houston Immigration Lawyer
Even though filing an FOIA request is not necessary for most immigrants, it can be useful for some. Speak with a Houston immigration lawyer today and we will assist you in filing an FOIA request that satisfies your needs.