Form G-639, Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request

Form G-639 FOIA USCIS

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Last updated: April 4, 2024.

What is Form G-639 used for?

  • USCIS Form G-639, officially known as the “Freedom of Information/Privacy Act Request,” is used to request access to immigration records maintained by the USCIS under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act
  • Individuals, attorneys, and representatives can use this form to obtain copies of their own immigration records or records of others, subject to certain limitations and exemptions
  • The requested records may include immigration-related documents such as visa petitions, naturalization records, alien registration files, and other documents maintained by USCIS
  • It’s important to note that not all immigration records are accessible through a FOIA request, and certain exemptions may apply
  • Additionally, personal information about third parties may be redacted to protect their privacy
  • Individuals seeking their own immigration records or those acting on behalf of someone else typically use Form G-639 to initiate the request process
  • The completed form, along with any required supporting documents and the appropriate fee (if applicable), should be submitted to the USCIS FOIA office
  • Its recommended to file a FOIA request online on the USCIS website to expedite the process

What is FOIA USCIS?

  • FOIA USCIS refers to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made to USCIS
  • The Freedom of Information Act is a federal law that allows individuals to request access to federal agency records, including those held by USCIS
  • USCIS is a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is responsible for the administration of immigration and naturalization functions
  • FOIA requests to USCIS can be made to obtain information about immigration cases, visa applications, and other related records
  • Individuals can submit a FOIA request to USCIS to obtain copies of their own immigration records or to request information about someone else’s immigration records, provided they have the necessary authorization
  • The FOIA process allows for transparency and access to government records, subject to certain exemptions and limitations outlined in the law

Form G-639 filing fee

  • You are not required to send any payment at the time of submission of Form G-639
  • However, USCIS might request you to pay any fees up to $25

Where do I send my G-639 form?

A completed and signed Form G-639 must be submitted by mail to the following address:

National Records Center (NRC)

FOIA/PA Office

P.O. Box 648010

Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

How long does it take to get a FOIA back from immigration?

  • It can take anywhere from 20 business days to 2-3 months to receive USCIS response to your FOIA request
  • Its recommended to file FOIA request online on the USCIS website

Expedited Form I-639 Processing

  • Under certain conditions, your may request USCIS expedited processing of your FOIA request:
    • Circumstances where the lack of expedited processing could reasonably pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual
    • Loss of substantial due process rights
    • A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there are possible questions about the government’s integrity

Who needs form G-639?

Form G-639 may be necessary for various purposes related to immigration, legal proceedings, or personal records verification. 

Those who often need Form G-639 include:

  • Individuals Requesting Their Own Records: People may file Form G-639 to obtain copies of their own immigration records for personal reasons, legal purposes, or record verification. For example, if you are preparing an immigration application and lack some information or documentation required, you can obtain those records through FOIA
  • Authorized Representatives: Attorneys, legal representatives, or accredited individuals may use Form G-639 to request immigration records on behalf of someone else. In such cases, the requester must provide evidence of their authorization to act on behalf of the individual in question

Can I file Form G-639 online?

  • Yes, Form G-639 can be filed online
  • Create an online USCIS account to file your FOIA request electronically

How to request FOIA USCIS

To request information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you can follow these steps:

  • Create an online USCIS account:
      • If you do not have an online USCIS account, create one
  • Prepare Your Request:
      • Indicate whether you are requesting your own records, someone else’s records or other requests
      • If you are requesting information on behalf of someone else, you may need to provide documentation authorizing you to act on their behalf.
      • Clearly identify the information you are seeking. Be as specific as possible to help expedite the process
      • Include details such as names, dates, case numbers, and any other relevant information that can assist in locating the records
  • Submit Your Request:
      • Submit your completed FOIA request online to USCIS.
  • Pay Any Applicable Fees:
      • USCIS may charge fees for processing your FOIA request
  • Follow Up:
    • After submitting your request, you can check the status of your request online by going to “View my Requests”