top of page

What is FOIA (Freedom of Information Act)?


One of the most important tools that immigration lawyers have is the FOIA. In today's blog we are going to be explaining what it consists of and how it can be of great help for your immigration process.

The FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act, is a federal legislation in the United States that was enacted in 1966. This law gives citizens the right to access government information. The primary purpose of FOIA is to promote transparency and accountability by allowing people to request government documents.

Anyone, whether a U.S. citizen, foreign resident, or even a foreign citizen, has the right to file a FOIA request to access government records and documents. Although the law seeks transparency, there are certain exceptions that allow the government to retain sensitive information, such as matters of national security, personal privacy, confidential business information, among others.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) plays a significant role in immigration cases by providing individuals, immigration attorneys, and civil rights organizations the opportunity to access relevant government information. You can use the FOIA to obtain your own government records. This is crucial to review the information that government agencies have about your case, such as visa records, benefit applications, and any documentation related to your immigration status.

The FOIA allows access to information about immigration policies and procedures. Immigration attorneys and civil rights advocates can use this information to better understand how decisions are made, identify potential areas for improvement, and advocate for policy changes.

Immigration attorneys can file FOIA requests to obtain details about the progress of their clients' cases. This includes information about the award of immigration benefits, immigration court decisions, and any other documentation relevant to the case.

To request information under the FOIA, an individual must submit a written request to the appropriate government agency. The process may vary by agency and may include a fee, although for some requests the few may be waived.

This request can be made online, and it is always advisable that it be made and reviewed by an attorney. Immigration files can be very extensive, and if they are not requested correctly, the necessary documentation may not be requested, or the response from the government entity may be prolonged.

The law sets deadlines for government agencies to respond to FOIA requests. However, these time frames may vary, and, in some cases, agencies may extend response time.

If a FOIA request is denied, the requester has the right to appeal the decision and request additional review.

In short, the FOIA provides a legal avenue to access government information, which can be essential for handling immigration cases, defending the rights of individuals, and promoting more transparent and equitable immigration policies.

If you need help requesting and/or reviewing your FOIA, do not hesitate to contact us. The first consultation is free. In Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. Your problem is our problem.

Legal Disclaimer

Any information made available by the lawyer or law firm is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and general understanding of the law, NOT to provide specific advice. This does NOT create a relationship attorney-client between you and Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. This information should NOT be use as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


bottom of page