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Checklist for Requests for Personal Information (Immigrant Visas)

In order to process a request for personal information, the Department of State requires the following:

  • Full name (and any aliases) of the individual(s) who is/are the subject of the request (for both the petitioner and beneficiary/ies)
  • Current Mailing Address
  • Date of birth (for both the petitioner and beneficiary/ies) †
  • Place of birth (city and state/country) (for both the petitioner and beneficiary/ies) †
  • An adequate description of the records you are seeking
  • Timeframe
  • Origin of the records
  • Notarized signature or Under Penalty of Perjury Statement * †
  • Receipt number or case number for I-130 immigrant visa petitions †

    If you wish to authorize another individual to access your records, please see the helpful information sheet on Third Party Authorization .
  • Third Party Authorization (if applicable) ** †

* The Department of State cannot accept requests for personal records without the requestor providing authorization through either: 1) a signed “Certification of Identity” (DS-4240) which can be printed from this site; 2) a notarized signature; 3) or a declaration signed with an “under penalty of perjury” statement. If using a notary, your request should bear your signature and the signature and seal of the notary, and be dated within six months of the date of the request. In lieu of notarization, you may make the following statement: “I declare, certify, verify or state, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America, that the foregoing is true and correct.” This statement should be signed, and be dated within six months of the date of the request. NOTE: Signing G-28 or G-639 forms DOES NOT provide authorization to the Department of State; these provide authorizations only for the Department of Homeland Security. We will release documents to a requester based on the applicant’s authorization only if that authorization clearly states intent to release his or her visa records to the requester.

** In general, under the provisions of the FOIA and Privacy Act, access to information about private individuals cannot be given to unauthorized third parties absent the individuals’ written consent. The Department of State can and will process requests without consent, but in the absence of proper authorization, the response may explain that the confidentiality of visa records under Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act precludes our disclosure of any information relating to an individual’s visa records, including the existence of any such records. Furthermore, in order to obtain records submitted or received by either the beneficiary or petitioner referenced in an immigrant visa file, signed Certifications of Identity (DS-4240), notarized or “under penalty of perjury” authorizations must be received from both beneficiary and petitioner in the case that identify generally the records for which they are approving release.

† For immigrant visa records, provide the case number or receipt number of the petition. If you are requesting information regarding an I-130 visa petition, the Department of State requires the full names, and date and place of birth for the petitioner and beneficiary (or beneficiaries, in cases where there is more than one beneficiary named on a petition).