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Requests under the Freedom of Information Act

This page tells you how to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives the public a right of access to information held by all public authorities in the UK. Essentially anyone, anywhere in the world can make a request for information and can expect a reply within 20 working days.

Making a request

If you want to make a request under the FOI Act, your request must:

  • be made in writing;
  • state your name;
  • provide an address for correspondence; and
  • describe the information that you are requesting.

You do not have to mention the FOI Act in the request, although this does makes it easier for us to identify the nature of the request quickly.

Limits of disclosure

The UK Border Agency will disclose information wherever possible. However, in certain limited circumstances, it will be necessary to preserve confidentiality where it is not in the public interest to disclose. Where information is refused, we will specify which exemption is being claimed and why. All requests for information will be carefully considered on their own merits and with close regard to the public interest.

Requests for personal information or about the progress of an application

Requests for these types of information cannot be made under the FOI Act.

If you want to request the personal information that we hold about you, you should make a request under the Data Protection Act 1998. The Personal data requests page explains how to do this.

If you want information about the progress of an application that you have made, you should contact one of our contact centres. However, you cannot ask for an update until a certain time has passed since you made your application. The Contact centres page tells you when you can ask for an update, and you can find out the standard waiting time for application decisions by looking at the section of this website covering your type of application.

Published information

The Home Office and its agencies proactively publish a wide range of information. In addition, in late 2002, government departments established publication schemes under the FOI Act. Therefore, you may first wish to search the Home Office publication scheme or departmental websites to find out whether the information you require has already been published, or whether there are plans for it to be published.

Where to send your request

Requests under the FOI Act for information relating to the UK Border Agency's work should be sent to:

UK Border Agency
Freedom of Information Act Policy Team
11th Floor
Lunar House, Short Corridor
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon
CR9 2BY

Email: Freedom.Informationteam@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Fax: 020 8196 3172

Requests under the FOI Act for information relating to the work of other parts of the Home Office should be sent to:

Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF

Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Tel: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7035 4745
Textphone: 020 7273 3476 (0900-1700)

Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with our response to your request, you may seek an independent review by writing to:

The Deputy Director
UK Border Agency
Freedom of Information Act Policy Team
11th Floor
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon
CR9 2BY

Email: Freedom.Informationteam@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk

When you make your complaint, please state when and to whom your original request was made.