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Can FOIA response be used in place of lost I797 for OPT application?

Berkeley, CA |

Lost my I-797A form and need to apply for OPT at the earliest. Can I file FOIA and use its response for filing of OPT?

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Attorney answers 2


Multiple repeat questions on the same issue. No. Cannot. Again, talk to your school's DSO about this. Once you file FOIA will most likely obtain a copy of the missing Notice of Action. That's what you'll need to use. Not the FOIA filing receipt!

Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


Although as the requestor, you can file a FOIA request, this may not be the best mechanism to achieve your goal. For example, a "lost" I-797A that never made it to the USCIS will not be available through FOIA because, as you stated, it was lost.

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