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FOIA - Freedom of Information Act

Use the Form Navigator™ to complete your FOIA Request using USCIS Form G-639. This form is used to access information under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts.


What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law which grants the public the right to obtain information from United States federal agencies records. There are 9 exemptions under the FOIA law which allows the government to withhold certain information, such as reasons of national security or confidential business information. Requesting copies of documents or records from United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) should be completed using Form G-639.

Who Can File a FOIA request?

Generally any individual can file a FOIA request, including U.S. citizens or foreign nationals.

What is the purpose of USCIS Form G-639 - Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request?

USCIS form G-639 is used to request access to information under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts such as copies of documents or records on file with USCIS office.

Do not use this form:

  • To determine the status of pending USCIS applications.
  • For notification from the consulate regarding a visa petition approval, (use Form I-824 Application for action on an Approved Application or Petition).
  • For returning original documents, (use Form G-884, Request for Return of Original Documents).
  • To obtain records of naturalization prior to September 27, 1906, (contact the clerk of court where naturalization occurred.)
  • To obtain proof of status (i.e., Social Security benefit, Selective Service requirement).

What is the Process for FOIA Request?

Once the USCIS receives your FOIA request (Form G-639) it will be entered into the USCIS automated database. The FOIA request will then be reviewed based on the information provided by the requester on the completed form G-639 submitted. Requestors should receive an acknowledgment letter that indicates your request has been received and it should include a tracking number for your records. Typically it takes 20 business days to receive the acknowledgement letter that confirms your FOIA request has been received and being processed. Once you receive the acknowledge letter the requested records or documents will be sent at a later date soon after the acknowledgement letter has been received.

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