I am looking for some advice and hope I can find it here.

I have overstayed my visa in October 2011. I was involved in a minor car accident and found that ICE has a hold on me and got deported to Germany (I am a German national). I have now been living and working in the UK for the last six years.

I would like to apply for a visa, but online it says I need to submit the documents of removal (deportation). I however do not have them as I was so upset and threw them away, and never planned to visit again after the experience of deportation.

Now I do wish I could visit again and many people I know are getting married in the US and I would like to be able to attend.

What can I do?

  • 9
    You can talk to a lawyer Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 3:03
  • 4
    An INA 212(a)(9)(A) ban for removal is 5 years if you are removed on arrival, but is 10 years if you are removed from inside the US. It sounds like you were removed from inside the US, so your ban should be 10 years.
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 3:06
  • It has definitely been 5 years even though I have been removed from inside the US. The paper said 5 years and the officer told me as well that 5 is the minimum time and I should be happy.
    – Adriana
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 4:41
  • 3
    @Adriana: What does "the paper say"? It's possible you got a "paper" with multiple options and you read the wrong option. Inadmissibility automatically applies as a matter of law based on what actually happened, and is not based on what some "paper" says or what some officer told you. You can read the law for yourself. The 5-year ban (INA 212(a)(9)(A)(i)) only applies to expedited removal at a port of entry (INA 235(b)(1)) or for other removal (INA 240) initiated upon arrival in the US. All other removal (under INA 240 or any other law) triggers a 10-year ban (INA 212(a)(9)(A)(ii)).
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:34
  • @Adriana: Depending on what status you were in and how long you overstayed before you left, you may also have triggered a 3-year/10-year ban under INA 212(a)(9)(B) for accruing 180 days/1 year of "unlawful presence" and then leaving the US.
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides specific information on how to file an FOIA request relating to an alien file.

Unless otherwise noted below, mail or fax all requests to USCIS records, including alien files and procurement information, to the National Records Center.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010

USCIS Contact Center: 800-375-5283 or TTY 800-767-1833
Fax: 802-288-1793 or 816-350-5785
[email protected]

It also provides a lengthy PDF file with specific guidance.

Note in particular the detailed explanation around proving your identity: the fast and cheap option seems to be to write and sign a document giving your full name, current address, date and place of birth, alien registration number if known, and declaration under penalty of perjury; and then to scan it and send it by e-mail.

Note also the fee schedule: you will be charged, although if the fees exceed $25 (which looks unlikely for a simple request: the more specific you can be about the document you require, the better) you will be told how much they will be and can choose whether to accept them or not.


File a FOIA request for your deportation records either yourself or through an attorney (and don't throw them away again).

Not all deportation and exclusion records survive. If, however, the event occurred after 1892 there is a chance records may still exist.

Deportation is the removal of an alien already in the United States Exclusion is the refusal of admission by a Board of Special Inquiry

On April 1, 1944, the INS began filing all enforcement paperwork in Alien Files(or A-files), single files that included all records of a specific alien. If a researcher believes the deportation took place in April 1944 or later he or she can obtain an A-file number by:

Submit a USCIS FOIA/PA Request

  • 9
    Given that his overstay was in 2011, a competent researcher is likely to conclude that the deportation took place after 1944, let alone 1892.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 20:16
  • Given that the question clearly states when they were removed (2011), the only actually relevant parts of your answer are the first paragraph and the link at the end... Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 6:50
  • @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas You're permitted to write your own answers Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 12:00
  • @ugoren - And yet Stack Exchange's stated aim is to become a repository of information to help other people with similar questions.
    – AndyT
    Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 14:48
  • @TheZealot - Personally I find that in bad taste when I'm the one offering the bounty :-/ Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 15:50

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