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Submitting FOIA Request

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552 provides any individual a right of access to any non-exempt federal government record. The Privacy Act (PA), 5 U.S.C. § 552a provides lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens a right of access to records filed in an agency system of records, which are retrieved by their name or personal identifier.

ALL REQUESTS MUST BE SUBMITTED IN WRITING. Form G-639 may be used for this purpose. You may also submit your request by using our online FOIA Request Form. Requests must be for access to existing records. The ICE FOIA Office will not "create" records for the purpose of responding to a FOIA or PA request.

FOIA excludes federal agencies from its definition of persons permitted to make FOIA requests [see 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(A) and 5 U.S.C. § 551(2)]. To avoid confusion as to whether employees are requesting information through FOIA in their personal or official capacities, it is the preference of the ICE FOIA Office that ICE employees submitting FOIA requests do so using their personal email accounts instead of their official email accounts. Moreover, since use agency letterhead is generally limited to official agency business, it is the preference of the FOIA office that employees refrain from submitting FOIA requests on agency letterhead.

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 ICE-FOIA@dhs.gov
  • 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.

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.