Step-By-Step EOIR FOIA Request
Before You Start:
Use this step-by-step guide set up your account and request your records from the Immigration Court (also known as the Executive Office for Immigration Review).
- To submit this request, you need to complete two steps: first, create an account (or use the community organization account) and second, fill out the request.
- If you are setting up your own account, please begin at Step 1. If you are using an existing community organization account, please begin at Step 3.
- If you need to set up your own account, you will need stable access to the internet for approximately 2 hours, 1 hour to wait for the account to be set up and 1 hour to complete the FOIA Request for your records.
- Whether you are doing this yourself or with a community organization, you should first fill out Form EOIR-59, Certification and Release of Records, which you will find here and have a passport photo that can be uploaded.
- If you have an upcoming date to go to Immigration Court, you can ask for records faster. You will need to know the upcoming court date. Even if you do not know what documents you have or what documents you need, you can still submit a general request to locate your records following the steps below.
If you are a community organization helping someone submit a FOIA Request with the EOIR, you can either set up an account for each individual or set up an organizational account to use for each person. If you set up an individual account, keep in mind that it could take some time for them to get the email confirming set up. You may want to set up a separate time to submit the FOIA request in that case. It is completely normal for EOIR to take several months to respond to a FOIA Request.
- [For those creating their own account] Create an account on linked here, by filling out your name, address and city, state and zip code. If you are a community organization with an existing account, skip to Step 3.
- If you are submitting this request for yourself, select a username that you will remember. If you are working with a community organization, the organization may set up an individual account for you or use an existing organizational account. Organizational accounts can be used to submit multiple requests. Select from the drop down a hint question and type in the answer. Then enter the CAPTCHA and click Save.
- After registering, you will be redirected to the sign in page. EOIR will email you a temporary password that you should sign in along with your chosen username. It may take around one hour for your temporary password to be sent to you via email. If you are using an existing community organization account, START HERE. Go to this link.
- After you have signed in, click the green Submit Request option in the top left.
- Enter the address where you receive mail. This may be different from the address where you receive mail.
- Type in Record of Proceedings into the Description box. Just under the Description box, it asks for a date range. This means that dates you were in front of an Immigration Judge. If you can recall what dates you were in front of the court, even if it just a year, type in a range like 1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013. If your case went on for multiple years, be sure to cover the whole time. (1/1/2012-1/1/2015). Fee information: Most people are not charged a fee for their documents. In Amount willing to pay, the minimum amount is $25.00. It is best to just choose this option (but that does not mean that you will be charged $25.00). You can also check the box for Fee Waiver Requested and briefly explain why. Try and be specific here such as my income is $200 a month and my rent is $150 a month. Enter your address again in Billing Address.
- You can add optional information to make it easier for the government to locate your paperwork. Port of Entry means where you entered. You can also include date of entry, place of your hearing, and date of the hearing if you know it. If you do not know it, do not worry about it.
- In the Subject Matter of Request, select ROP as that will be the most comprehensive record.
- Expedite Requested: It will generally take several months for the government to send you your records. You can only request the records faster if you meet one of the following criteria:
- First, you can request records faster if you need them to prevent a threat to your life or safety. This means that you are about to be deported and you face harm if deported.
- Second, you can request records faster if you need them to prevent an abuse by the court (known as a due process violation.) This means that you are about to be deported and you do not face harm.
- In the proof of identity section, you will need to upload a completed and signed Form EOIR-59, Certification and Release of Records available here where it says Consent and upload a passport photograph or alternate form of identification where it says Proof of Identity. This may be a travel document or drivers license. Then enter the CAPTCHA and click Submit. Congratulations on completing this request. It will be very important to your case to know what happened or is happening in Immigration Court. Good luck!