Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests for Visa and Immigration Cases

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A FOIA request can be extremely helpful to find out what information a government agency has; to clarify dates; and to “re-construct” a file in a case where documents were lost or misplaced. Such a request can be critical to overcome a finding of inadmissibility in visa cases, in particular, such as accusations of misrepresentations, alien smuggling and unlawful presence.  All agencies of the Executive Branch of the United States Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records protected from disclosure by exemptions (e.g., law enforcement, security, and privacy reasons).  As a general rule, the Government does not charge fees for conducting the search, although it reserves the right to do so. What makes the FOIA process challenging is that there is no central office which processes FOIA requests for all federal agencies. Therefore, it is necessary to determine which agency…

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