Requesting Records, Part 2: FOIA / PA, CORI, FBI, and Certified Dockets

1. FOIA/PA Requests

a. As promised, attached is an annotated Form G-639 FOIA/PA Request form. Please use it to help you file requests for your clients. If you have any thoughts or suggestions to improve it, please also send them my way.

b. Another resource that I have found to be very helpful as guidance for FOIA requests is the USCIS FOIA Guide. It is attached here, and can also be found at

c. If there is anyone who has not submitted a FOIA request, I am also attaching a redacted example of the receipt letter so you can see the response.

i. I filed this FOIA request on behalf of a potential N-600 client who believes that her mother was a U.S. citizen but does not have any documentation. Her mother is now deceased, so we included a copy of the death certificate with our request.

ii. As you can tell from the letter, USCIS placed this request into Track 2 (complex) and provides the opportunity to narrow the request so that the search may be completed more quickly than Track 1. In this case, I do not think that I am going take this action because the applicant does not have any documentation about her mother and filing the N-600 requires a substantial amount of evidence, as you all know.

d. The instructions contained in the receipt letter for how to track the status of the request are outdated. From the USCIS homepage, click on Tools on the green menu bar. In the drop-down list, click on Submit or Track a FOIA Request. You will then be prompted to enter the control number. Below is a screenshot of the status result.


2. CORI Requests, FBI Background Checks, and Certified Dockets

a. Attached are some one-page information sheets about how applicants
can request and obtain their CORI report, an FBI background check, and
copies of their certified dockets, put together by one of our LLM interns.
Please feel free to distribute these documents to your clients as a guide
for retrieving their records for the application.



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