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How to Make FOIA Requests

This page provides information on how to submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and how to submit a Privacy Act request; fee structure, waivers, processing information and limits on FOIA requests. The Freedom of Information Act provides for the full disclosure of agency records and information to the public unless that information is exempted under clearly delineated statutory language.

  • Fee Structure and Waivers
    Information on our current fee structure and how to request a fee waiver.
  • Processing (Normal and Expedited)
    FOIA requests are generally processed by order of receipt (first in, first out). However, you may request expedited processing of your FOIA request.
  • Limits and Exemptions on FOIA Requests
    While the FOIA supports disclosure of federal agency records, the law recognizes the legitimate need to restrict disclosure of some information.
  • Appeals Mediation
    If you deem your response an adverse determination, you may exercise your appeal rights. Should you wish to do so, you must send your appeal and a copy of the response, within 90 days of the date of the response letter to: Privacy Office, Attn: FOIA Appeals, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Lane, SW, Mail Stop 0655, Washington, D.C. 20528-0655, following the procedures outlined in the DHS FOIA regulations at 6 C.F.R. Part 5 § 5.8. Your envelope and letter should be marked “FOIA Appeal.”

    For updates on pending FOIA appeals, please contact:
    Bradley White, Acting Director, FOIA Appeals and Litigation
    202-343-1662 | Email:
  • Step-by-step to File a FOIA Request
    How to submit a FOIA request, including required information and how to direct requests to the proper component.
Last Published Date: February 26, 2021

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