Written by attorney Brian David Lerner

Obtaining Records through a FOIA from the Board of Immigration Appeals

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public access, with certain exceptions, to federal agency records. The Office of General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, responds to FOIA requests for Board records.

Parties wanting to inspect the record may obtain a FOIA from the BIA. Parties to a proceeding, and their legal representatives, may inspect the official record of proceedings by prior arrangement with the Clerk’s Office. A FOIA request is not required.

As a general rule, parties who want a copy of the record of proceedings must file a FOIA request. However, when the record is small or only a portion of the record is needed, parties may contact the Clerk’s Office for assistance in obtaining a copy.

Persons who are not party to a proceeding before the Board must file a request with the Office of General Counsel, Executive Office for Immigration Review, if they wish to see or obtain copies of the record of proceedings. They must file the FOIA request in writing. Requests may be sent to the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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