The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) grants the public the privilege to request records from federal agencies, including the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This act mandates USCIS to reveal information requested under FOIA, barring certain exceptions related to personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. In this guide, we explore the purpose and process of filing a USCIS FOIA request.

Purpose of a USCIS FOIA Request

Individuals commonly file a USCIS FOIA request for various reasons, including:

  • Obtaining an Alien-File (A-File), your own or another person’s with their consent.
  • Accessing agency policies, data, communications, and additional records.
  • Acquiring records of apprehension, detention, deportation, and other immigration-related actions.
  • Gaining insights into Form I-94 records, travel reservation data, and bond obligor requests.
  • Reviewing medical records related to Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention.
  • Seeking information on student and exchange visitor statuses, such as F-1, J-1, and M-1.

Records Accessible Through a USCIS FOIA Request

A USCIS FOIA request can provide access to:

  • Personal immigration records.
  • Another individual’s immigration records with their explicit written permission.
  • Various agency policies, data, communications, and other pertinent records.

Steps to File a USCIS FOIA Request

The quickest method to receive your immigration records from USCIS is through an online submission. Here’s how:

  1. Create an account with USCIS.
  2. Submit your FOIA request through the online portal.

Alternatively, you can file a USCIS FOIA request via mail using USCIS Form G-639. It’s vital to include all necessary details and specify the exact records you seek to ensure a prompt and accurate response.

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