I was the beneficiary of a 2009 H-1B approved petition, I only have the copy of I-797 approval for that H-1B petition. Rest of the documents were in a file which got lost when I changed apartments. Asking the employer who did my 2009 H-1B petition did not work since I am not working for them now so they don't want to cooperate. I want the documents since they are part of my immigration records.
1. If I request the 2008 H-1B petition details(like Labor Condition application and other supporting documents) via USCIS FOIA request, will the documents be redacted?
I don't think the documents should be redacted, since I am the beneficiary of the petition and these documents are required to be available for inspection 2. Can the FOIA request be done by a layman or I need an immigration attorney or a para-legal who has filed such requests?
You can FOIA for the records. However, most of the employer information will be redacted since you do not have a right to that information. Remember a H1B petition belongs to the employer.
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What do you need those documents for? The approval should be all that you need as part of your immigration history documents.
Lynne R. Feldman, Attorney at Law
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Yes, if you name is on the papers.
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If you just want the copies for your personal record-keeping, then you can do a FOIA but you will most likely get redacted copies. You might check with a Florida lawyer to see if the laws there give former employees any access to these documents. Otherwise, the only way to force a company to reveal information is by subpoena or court order.
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This is a common problem with people on an H visa ... they don't realize that the visa is the property of the employer, not the employee.
Whether or not you think it is right that the papers be redacted .... that's the law and you have to accept the reality of the situation .... which, excuse me for saying this, appears to be the result of you having lost the papers in the first place. The employer is only required to give you one copy ... the one you lost.
Also, as one of my colleagues pointed out, all you really need is the approval notice.
Meeting with an attorney would be an incredibly wise thing for you to do.
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The LCA is required to be available for inspection, not the entire filing.
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