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Welcome to the U.S. Department of State Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) website. Like all federal agencies, the Department creates and receives records when carrying out its mission. This website provides a wealth of information about the Department’s FOIA program and how to obtain access to the Department’s records, as well as a search tool containing numerous documents reviewed and released to the public.

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The Department of State administers information access programs including the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the Mandatory Declassification Review programs. These programs can be used to obtain access to a variety of Department records. Find out more about these programs and about what kinds of records and information the Department maintains.

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Prior to making a request for Department of State records, you may wish to find out if the information has already been made publicly available through one of the Department’s searchable online resources:

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Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act, or Mandatory Declassification Review (MDR) by mail or by fax.

Under the Freedom of Information Act by Electronic Submission.

Please note: Requests for personal records require an original signature and cannot be accepted online.

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Department of State Records
The Department of State maintains records dealing with:
  • Formulation and execution of U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Administration and operations of the Department of State and U.S. Missions abroad
  • Consular assistance given to U.S. Citizens abroad
  • In general, permanent records 25 years and older, pre-1925 passport and pre-1940 visa records are property of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
  • Current and former employees of the Department of State
  • Applications from U.S. Citizens for U.S. Passports
  • Visa requests from non-citizens to enter the U.S. You may wish to view the Visa Records Contact Information to determine where the visa records you are seeking are maintained
03-27-2014