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Electronic Submission

    Getting Started

    You may use the Electronic Submission to submit requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. This tool can be used to submit a request for records maintained or controlled by the Department of State. Requests should be submitted by only one method – electronically, by fax, or by mail. Please DO NOT submit duplicate requests. You may contact our staff for confirmation of receipt or to check on the status of a submission.

    Non-Department of State Records

    If you are not requesting Department of State records, you may wish to visit other Federal Agencies' FOIA websites.

    The Department of State maintains records dealing with: (A) formulation and execution of U.S. Foreign Policy, (B) administration and operations of the Department of State and U.S. Missions abroad, (C) applications from U.S. Citizens for U.S. Passports, (D) visa requests from non-citizens to enter the U.S., (E) consular assistance given to U.S. Citizens abroad, and (F) current and former employees of the Department of State. You may use this form to submit requests for DEPARTMENT OF STATE RECORDS. If you are not requesting Department of State records, you may wish to visit other Federal Agencies' FOIA websites.

    Are you requesting Department of State records? *

    The Department of State maintains the following personal records: 1) applications from U.S. citizens for U.S. passports, 2) visa requests from non-citizens to enter the U.S., 3) personal correspondence with U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Missions abroad, and 4) Employment records of current and former employees of the Department of State. In order to protect your privacy as well as the privacy of others, your request must include 1) a notarized statement or a statement signed under penalty of perjury stating that you are the person you say you are and 2) your signature. There are no special forms required for making a request for personal records but you may use the Department’s Request for Individual Access to Records Protected under the Privacy Act form. Click here for the fillable PDF form. You have three options for submitting the form:

          1. Email to FOIARequest@state.gov
          2. Fax to (202) 485-1669
          3. Print and mail to:

          Office of Information Programs and Services, A/GIS/IPS/RL
          2201 C Street, N.W., Suite B266
          Washington, D.C. 20520-0000

    If you are providing consent and authorizing the agency to disclose your records to another person or entity, you must also authorize the Department to release your records by completing the Consent for Disclosure of Records Protected under the Privacy Act form. Click here for the fillable PDF form.

    REQUESTS FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION CANNOT BE SUBMITTED USING THE ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION TOOL AND SHOULD BE SUBMITTED BY MAIL, EMAIL, OR FAX.

    Are you requesting records containing personal information? *

    The Department of State maintains records on visa requests from non-citizens to enter the United States. Records dealing with visa requests are considered personal information; therefore, requests for such records should be submitted by mail. Click Here to learn more about Visa Records.

    Are you requesting records dealing with visa requests? *

     

    Contact Information


    Use the format (###)###-####

    Use the format (###)###-####
     

    Description

    Describe the records you are seeking as clearly and precisely as you can. If your request is vague or too broad, we may ask you to be more specific, and this will delay the processing of your request. If you are requesting a copy of a Department of State contract, please provide the contract number.

    The following information will assist us in conducting a search:

    • type of record
    • timeframe of record
    • specific subject matter, country, region, person and/or organization
    • Offices, Bureaus, Embassies, or Consulates originating or receiving the record
    • particular event, policy, or circumstance that led to the creation of the record
    • reason why you believe the records exists
    • if requesting information involving a contract with the Department of State, the contract number, approximate date, type of contract and name of contractor

    Determining Documents to Request

    You may wish to view the organizational list of Bureaus and Offices or the Embassy listing to help determine where records may have been created or received. You may also wish to view the Domestic and Foreign Records Disposition Schedules to examine the types of records maintained by the Offices and Bureaus within the Department and the guidelines concerning retention of those records.

    Please describe the records you are seeking as clearly and precisely as possible: *

    Time Frame of Records *

    Please provide a timeframe for which you would like the Department to search for relevant material. If you are searching for information surrounding a particular event, it is suggested that you set a date range prior to the date of the event if you are interested in background material. Please consider that the greater the range date, the longer it may take to process your request and the greater the amount of fees you will be charged.

    Archived Documents

    Permanent Department of State records that were created prior to 1977 and pre-1925 for passport and pre-1940 visa records are property of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on how to locate Department of State records at the National Archives, you may wish to visit the National Archives website.

     

    Handling

    Requests and appeals shall be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever a requester has demonstrated that a "compelling need" for the information exists.

    A "compelling need" is deemed to exist where the requester can demonstrate one of the following:

    • Failure to obtain requested information on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual.
    • Substantial due process rights of the requester would be impaired by the failure to process immediately.
    • Substantial humanitarian concerns would be harmed by the failure to process immediately.
    • The information is urgently needed by an individual primarily engaged in publicizing information in order to inform the public concerning actual or alleged government activity.

      Urgently Needed

      The information has a particular value that will be lost if not distributed quickly. Ordinarily this means a breaking news story of general public interest. Information of historical interest only, or information sought for litigation or commercial activities would not qualify, nor would a news media publication or broadcast deadline unrelated to the breaking nature of the story.

      Actual or Alleged Federal Government Activity

      The information concerns some actions taken, contemplated, or alleged by or about the government of the United States, or one of its components or agencies, including the Congress.

      News media requesters would normally qualify; however, other persons should demonstrate that their primary activity involves publishing or otherwise disseminating information to the public, not just a particular segment or group.
    Please select and describe in detail if you believe your request warrants expeditious handling:

    This option available for ONLY PERSONS PRIMARILY ENGAGED IN DISSEMINATING INFORMATION.
    Please enter any additional reasons for expeditious handling below:
     

    Fees

    Agreement to Pay *

    Please be advised that by making a FOIA request, it shall be considered an agreement by you to pay all applicable fees up to $25.00, unless you have been granted a fee waiver. We will confirm this agreement in our acknowledgement letter. When making a request, you may specify a willingness to pay a greater or lesser amount.

    You will be informed before processing of your request if the estimated fees will exceed the specified amount.

    Requester Category *


    Additional documentation or comments will be required.

    Fee Waiver

    Fees otherwise chargeable in connection with a request for disclosure of a record shall be waived or reduced where it is determined that disclosure is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.


    Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest.

    Please provide an explanation for your request for a fee waiver:

     

    Additional Information

    Please enter any additional comments you would like to have included with your request:

    Please Note

    You may also provide additional information by fax (202-261-8579). Please provide a copy of your request if you are faxing additional information.

     

    Review

    Name
    Email
    Address
    Telephone
    Fax
    Date Range
    Description
    Expedited Handling
    Maximum Fee
    I am willing to pay $ for my request.
    Requester Category
    Fee Waiver
    Additional Comments
     

    If you encounter difficulty using the electronic submission form, you may wish to use the FOIA Request Walkthrough and the Information Access Guide as guidance for writing your request.

    The confidentiality of communications sent via the Internet cannot be guaranteed and the electronic submission of your Freedom of Information Act request is purely voluntary. You may alternatively print the contents of your request letter and submit via fax at (202) 485-1669 or via U.S. mail.

    † Although you are not required to provide your email address or telephone number, doing so will help facilitate communication and providing an email address will allow us to provide you with an automatic acknowledgement of receipt.