Why you should get your records through Freedom of Information Act Requests?

Discover the importance of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Requests for your immigration records and applications in this article.Before you do anything with the government, you should find out what records the government has about you. Here are a few examples why:

**You’re ready to apply for citizenship, and so you apply for a copy of your USCIS records that relate to your Lawful Permanent Resident Adjustment of Status application. Once you get your USCIS records, you see that you made a mistake on your application: you noted an incorrect address for a prior residence. This is not a big deal, but you want to put the correct date on your N-400 application, and be ready to explain the mistake if asked at an interview. 

**You’re ready to apply for citizenship, and you do not remember if you disclosed a criminal issue that occurred before you become an “LPR”/green card holder. Once you get your USCIS records, you see that you did NOT disclose the issue. The criminal issue would not have made you ineligible for the green card and you had another criminal issue that you disclosed. That means that you answered “yes” that you had criminal issues, but you just did not describe them all. I would talk to you about why you did not disclose this issue. Were you represented by an attorney who forgot to include the information? Or, did you not realize that the incident was actually criminal because you though all driving offenses were civil? Whatever the reason, you need to give a good explanation to USCIS and make sure that the omission is explained as a mistake, not a misrepresentation or fraud. If USCIS thinks it’s a mistake, you’re citizenship application will likely go through fine. If USCIS thinks that it was a purposeful misrepresentation, you risk losing your LPR/green card status. 

**You want to apply for a “green card” through your US citizen spouse. You had a green card years ago through a job, but you left the US 20 years ago and have not lived in the US since then. You should get a copy of your USCIS records to make sure that you put all the correct information in your new application about your prior green card status, for example, when you got the green card, the name of the employer that helped you get the green card, and the INS/USCIS location where your green was processed.


If you need to talk to an experienced immigration attorney. We’ve helped hundreds of people traverse the complicated immigration and citizenship process. We would love to help you as well.  Call (617-744-7919) or email hello@cambridgeimmigrationlaw.com to get in touch.