Immigration Solutions

FOIA Requests – Freedom of Information Act

FBI FOIA Request

The Freedom of Information Act allows any person—except fugitives, federal agencies, and foreign intelligence agencies—to request information about organizations, businesses, investigations, historical events, incidents, groups, or deceased persons.

To submit a Freedom of Information Act request, use one of the following options:

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FBI has adjusted its normal operations and is unable to timely process Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIPA) requests received via the eFOIPA portal or by standard mail. Given limited staffing to ensure safety, you can expect delays in both the acknowledgement and substantive response to your FOIPA request. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding during this national emergency.

Option 1: Submit your request using the eFOIPA portal.

Note: If you have any questions about this process before submitting your eFOIPA request, please view the eFOIPA frequently asked questions page or email

Option 2: Submit your request using the Sample FOIA Request Letter. The form includes instructions.

Note: Please use the U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361. If you have any questions about this process before submitting your FOIA request, please email

Mail or fax your submission to:

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Attn: FOI/PA Request
Record/Information Dissemination Section
170 Marcel Drive
Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

Letter format:

    • Provide your complete name and mailing address. Telephone, fax, and e-mail addresses are optional.
    • Provide any identifying data that will help us locate information—for example, the subject’s complete name, aliases, date and place of birth, Social Security number, former addresses, or localities.
    • If you are interested in records pertaining to a particular incident, please describe it in detail.

Another living person:

    • If your request is for information about another living person, that information is usually not disclosed unless you have obtained the person’s written consent or unless public disclosure is authorized by law. Requests for information about another living person should be accompanied by evidence of the subject’s consent. Please use U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Identity Form DOJ-361 and complete the section identified as: Authorization to Release Information to Another Person. You may submit an attachment listing additional information that may aid in locating responsive records. Please place your name and contact information on the attachment.

A deceased individual:

    • If your request is for information concerning a deceased individual, you must provide proof of death. Acceptable forms of proof of death include obituaries, death certificates, recognized sources that can be documented, written media, Who’s Who in America, an FBI file that indicates a person is deceased, date of birth is 100 years or greater, or Social Security Death Index page.

State how much you are willing to pay for duplication fees if any are assessed. 

ICE FOIA Request

Follow these steps to make a request:

    • The request must include a daytime phone number so that we may contact you.
    • Provide as much information as possible about the subject matter of the records you are requesting. This will help expedite the search process.
    • You may mail your request to:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009

    • Requests can also be faxed to (202) 732-4265.
    • Requests or questions may also be emailed to
    • Whether you are submitting your request electronically, by mail, or by fax, a signed Verification of Identity, Verification of Guardianship, Accompanying Persons, and/or PA Amendment Request forms are requirements for making a PA request. PA requests should be marked “Privacy Act Request.”
    • Requests are deemed to constitute an agreement to pay any applicable fees that may be chargeable up to $25 without notice. Most requests do not require any fees; however, if fees exceed $25, we will notify you beforehand.

An “AFFIRMATION/DECLARATION” form indicating your name, date of birth, name of the person you want your records disclosed to (where applicable) and their address and a statement indicating that you understand that knowingly or willingly seeking or obtaining access to records about another person under false pretenses and or without their consent is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000.

If you wish to submit a Privacy Act amendment request (to request that ICE records about you be corrected), please send your detailed request to the ICE Privacy Office email address,, or to the following address:

     U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
     CE Privacy and Records
     ATTN:  Privacy Branch
     500 12th Street SW, Stop 5004
     Washington, D.C. 20536-5004

When should I expect to see a response to my request?

You should receive an acknowledgement letter within 3-5 business days after we receive your request. This letter will contain a tracking number that we have assigned to your request. If you contact us by phone, mail or email, please have this number available if you wish to check the status of your request.

ICE uses a multi-track system to process requests on a first-in, first-out basis. We are able to answer simple requests quickly. More complex requests may require significant processing time. Although ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, the FOIA does permit a 10-day extension of this time period. If your request involves a significant volume of records, requires that we collect records from separate offices, or requires that we consult with another agency, ICE will invoke the 10-day extension for the completion of your request.

State Department FOIA Request

The Department of State maintains the following visa records:

    • Correspondence previously sent to or given to the applicant by the post
    • Civil documents presented by the applicant
    • Visa applications and any other documents submitted by the applicant to the Department in the form in which they were submitted.
    • Inquiries on visa cases in progress overseas should be made to the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case.

Immigration records for individuals who already immigrated to the United States and have been issued a permanent resident alien card, also known as a “green card,” are with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).


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.