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Retrieving Your Passport After ICE Confiscation: Your Options

If ICE confiscated your passport, they usually keep it until the end of your immigration court removal case. At the end of your case, ICE should return your passport when you ask for it. However, there are some options to make at least a good effort to retrieve your passport. They are as follows:

1. File USCIS Form G-884 with USCIS.

But the chances of this working before the final decision in your case are slim to zero. Efforts to reclaim your ICE confiscated passport prior to the case’s conclusion often yield minimal success.

– Where to file? You should submit your Form G-884 to the USCIS district Office, suboffice, or service center that is currently processing your case. If DHS has issued a final decision, submit your Form G-884 to the USCIS district office, suboffice, or service center that performed the last action on your case.

– Based on our law firm’s experience, it is generally almost impossible to get your passport back until your court removal case is finished and you are approved for relief from deportation.

2. Petitioning DHS OPLA

Upon prevailing in your court proceedings, petitioning DHS OPLA prosecuting attorneys for your original ICE confiscated passport remains a daunting task. In some situations, you can get your original passport back from DHS OPLA prosecuting attorneys when you win your court case, and even then it will be super hard to get it because this means that ICE from the border had to ensure your passport made it to the DHS OPLA prosecuting attorney’s file. If they do not have it, file USCIS Form G-884 as described in the first paragraph.

3. You can obtain a COPY of your passport through EOIR and CBP FOIA Requests.

4. You can obtain a COPY through your lawyer if they ask OPLA prosecuting attorneys to send them a copy and they have it and they cooperate.

5. Get a new passport! 📜

For those unable to retrieve their ICE confiscated passport, seeking a NEW passport from their country’s consulate within the United States may present a viable solution. Apply with your country’s consulate in the United States. However, some consulates will not issue you a new passport unless you have final legal status documentation in the U.S.

– We are not believers that you are “ruining your asylum case” by obtaining a new passport as ‘not afraid to contact your country’s government,’ especially if your asylum case is about non-government persecutors (regular people who do not work for your country’s government). It is the basic administrative function of your consulate to issue passports.

– If you are requesting asylum based on threat or danger directly from the government of your country of origin – especially if you are well-known or wanted there for opposition-related activities – then we generally do NOT recommend contacting your country’s consulate in the United States to request a new passport. It could put you at risk.

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