Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we now have the right to access governmental records from any federal agency for various reasons. This type of information is not publicly available, which is why you must submit a request for those documents. With this freedom, you might wonder what type of information you can obtain from a FOIA request and why.
Why Obtain Them?
The most common reason why people will submit a FOIA request is for immigration matters. Often, those seeking aid with the help of a family member will need to prove their relationship, status, and a other documents so that they may attain their green card.
The application process for FOIA requests can be quite complex for someone who does not know about immigration proceedings. With the various requirements people need to follow, many will hire an attorney for FOIA requests to ensure the best outcomes.
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Most people who submit a FOIA request will do so to obtain personal records. These records include birth certificates, marriage licenses, and immigration records. People usually want or require these records to investigate their lineage or immigration matters.
Often, permanent residents or citizens will need these records if they are facing deportation or helping a family member immigrate. Moreover, someone who wants to know more about their family history may submit a FOIA request to obtain those records.
While a majority of archival records are easily accessible and unrestricted, you can still obtain archival information from the FOIA. Usually a FOIA request for archival records will come from researchers who require closed records. However, even with the FOIA, federal records can still be unobtainable due to their restrictions from specific agencies, statutes, or executive orders. Moreover, states have guidelines that determine the breadth of information and records you can obtain from your governing state.