G-639 form basics

Form is a form used to request access to records held by the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), under the Freedom of Information (FOIA) and Privacy Acts. FOIA permits U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to gain access to information pertaining to themselves in Federal agency records. So, USCIS will be able to send you a copy of the records requested. Records can be requested for self or on behalf of others.

While USCIS uses form G-639, it’s not mandatory. An request letter with relevant information will be sufficient too. However, it’s better to use form G-639. The form g 639 is about 4 pages long and dated. What I mean by dated is that at the top right (sometimes bottom left) of the form, USCIS specifies the expiration date of the form. So, make sure your form G 639 has not expired before filing. While it’s better to use the latest edition of G 639, USCIS typically accepts recent editions of the form as well. As of this writing, USCIS accepts editions 3/31/2015 and newer versions. Check the latest accepted editions here, G-639.

Now, on to the form itself, Form G-639 is divided into five parts. Here is a general overview of the sections,

  • Part 1. Type of Request

  • Part 2. Requestor Information if you are requesting on behalf of someone, then give information about you.

  • Part 3. Description of Records Requested What kind of records are requested. Examples: Immigration petitions 1-129, I-140, 1-130 etc. Keep your information like the latest I-94 #, Alien #, Recipient # etc handy to fill this section. Not all of the information is mandatory, but more details will help USCIS locate the record

  • Part 4. Verification of Identity and Subject of Record Consent Basic details about the subject of record and important: Signature

  • Part 5. Additional Information You can include any additional information you want to include or even attach extra sheets if needed.

Things to take care while filling the form, People commonly forget to sign the completed form. USCIS rejects any unsigned Form G-639 causing unnecessary delays. Hence, make sure you sign the form before sending it to USCIS.

Also, make sure you have the correct address listed in the form. Because, that’s where USCIS would mail the details requested.

In general there is no filing fee, but USCIS may contact you about a fee for complicated and time consuming requests.

Use the form specifically for requesting immigration records held by USCIS. Don’t use the form to request status.

USCIS handles lots of FOIA requests in a year, hence there is a wait time involved in processing your application. In some compelling circumstances, you can request to expedite the processing, it’s always better to plan ahead.

More instructions to fill the form

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