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Five Steps to File a FOIA Request

There are five steps to file a FOIA request at the Department of Homeland Security.

STEP 1: Determine Record

Determine the exact record you seek.  These could be documents, memos, emails, voice messages, or video.

STEP 2: Check Public Domain

Check available resources such as the internet or libraries to determine whether the record already exists in the public domain.

STEP 3: Determine Which Part of DHS has the Record

Narrow down as best as possible the location (office or component) in which you think the record might exist.

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STEP 4: Complete Information

Draft a letter completing all required fields including:

  1. Name
  2. Address or email address
  3. Phone if you would like to receive calls regarding the processing of your request
  4. Brief description of records sought
  5. Fee category
  6. Expedited treatment
  7. Provide perjury statement and signature or notary if seeking records that contain Personal information about yourself
  8. Provide a third party release statement if seeking personal records on another person.

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STEP 5: Send the FOIA

You may mail, email, or fax your FOIA to your identified component.  Or submit a form online.

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Get your component contact information.

Last Published Date: August 14, 2018

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