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Request Records through the Freedom of Information Act or Privacy Act

Avoid Delays! Make Your FOIA Request Online

During the national COVID-19 response, our capacity to process paper FOIA requests and deliver records by mail will be greatly reduced.

Use our online FOIA system to request:

  • Your own immigration record,
  • Another person’s immigration record, or
  • Non-A-File information such as policies, data, or communications.

We will post our response to your request in your USCIS online account and notify you.

Get your response faster, keep our workforce safe, and reduce the spread of COVID-19 by making your FOIA request online.

Records You Can Request from USCIS

Graphic with a image of a paper airplane on it with the text "Make your FOIA request online to receive it faster. Start your request.

 

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you can request:

  • Your immigration record;
  • Another person’s immigration record; or
  • Non-A-File information such as USCIS policies, data, or communications.

To Receive Your Records as Efficiently as Possible

  • Visit the USCIS Electronic Reading Room to confirm we have not already posted the records you need.
  • Make your request with the right agency by reviewing the sections below. We do not have all immigration records.
  • Request only the records you need, as we can return precise requests faster.
How to Request Records from USCIS
To request You should
  • Your immigration record or A-File
  • Another person’s immigration record, with their approval
  • Non-A-File information such as USCIS policies, data, or communications

Use our online FOIA system

Request records online to instantly:

  • Get your request in line for processing;
  • Know we received your request; and
  • Be notified when we process your request.

Online records are easy to:

  • Access from a phone, tablet, or computer;
  • Send to another person; and
  • Download and print.

Watch a video tutorial (youtube.com)

Current average FOIA request processing times

The status of your FOIA records request

Visit the Check Request Status page, scroll down, and enter your FOIA control number

Records that are more than 100 years old

File Form G-1041, Genealogy Index Search Request

Information about our FOIA process or operation

Email FOIAPAQuestions@uscis.dhs.gov

Records on behalf of a member of Congress

Email congressionalnrc@uscis.dhs.gov

Immigration records by methods other than our online system 

Requesting records by email, fax, or mail will delay our response to you. Use our online FOIA system to obtain records in a faster, more convenient online format. 

If you need to request records by mail, you should: 

Then send your request to USCIS by: 

  • Fax at 816-350-5785; 
  • Email at uscis.foia@uscis.dhs.gov
  • Mail at:
    National Records Center (NRC) 
    FOIA/PA Office 
    P.O. Box 648010 
    Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010

Making your request by any of these methods will require that you: 

  • Wait for us to receive your request, open it, and add it to our processing line; 
  • Interact with us by mail if we need to request more information to complete your request; and 
Receive a CD in the mail that contains our response to your request. 

Accessible records under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

Email FOIAPAQuestions@uscis.dhs.gov with:

  • Subject line "FOIA Disability Accommodations"
  • Your name
  • A phone number where you can be reached
  • Your FOIA Control Number

We will contact you to assist.

How We Process Your FOIA Request

The more precise you make your request, the more efficiently we can return the records you need.

You can check the status of an existing FOIA request on the Check Status of FOIA Request page.

If you request We consider this a

Specific documents from an immigration file (A-File)

Simple request, so it is likely to move quickly.

  • A complete record
  • Most of a record
  • Non-A-File material

Complex request, so our review will likely take a significant amount of time.

If you request “the application and all supporting documents,” our review will require more time than a request for a specific document.

An A-File as soon as possible, because you have a scheduled hearing with an immigration judge.

Priority request, but you must include a copy of one of the following forms, issued by the Department of Homeland Security or Department of Justice, with your request:

  • Form I-862, Notice to Appear, documenting a future scheduled date of the subject’s hearing before the immigration judge;
  • Form I-122, Order to Show Cause, documenting a future scheduled date of the subject’s hearing before the immigration judge;
  • Form I-863, Notice of Referral to Immigration Judge; or
  • A written notice of continuation of a future scheduled hearing before the immigration judge.
Disputing a FOIA Request

If you wish to dispute a USCIS FOIA request, please visit the website of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS). OGIS offers mediation between FOIA requestors and federal agencies.

How to Request Immigration Records from Other Federal Agencies

USCIS does not have all immigration records, so be sure to make your request to the right agency.

To request You should consult
  • Records of apprehension, detention, deportation, entry, exit, expedited removal, background investigations, or inspections by Customs and Border Protection
  • I-94 records
  • Travel industry reservation data such as passenger name record (PNR)
  • Voluntary return

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Importer Trade Activity (ITRAC)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ITRAC

Applications from U.S. citizens for U.S. passports

Visa requests from noncitizens to enter the U.S.

U.S. Department of State
  • Bond obligor requests
  • Medical records while someone was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Information affecting those previously or currently in F-1, F-3, J-1, M-1, and I-20 status
U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
USCIS FOIA Contact Information

If you have questions about your pending FOIA/PA request, you may: 

  • Call the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY: 800-767-1833);  
  • Fax questions to the National Records Center at 802-860-6908 or 816-350-5785; or  
  • Email your questions to foiapaquestions@uscis.dhs.gov

The National Records Center can only answer questions about FOIA/PA requests. We cannot help with pending applications, petitions, or any other type of immigration matter. 

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