USCIS FOIA Request for I-140 information, Sample G-639

USCIS FOIA request for I-140 approval notice if employer is not sharing. Sample G-639. Send by email/post - $0 filing fees. Notarization optional. Result online.

Written by Anil Gupta
  By Anil Gupta          Updated  29 Oct, 19


You can use USCIS FOIA request form G-639 to get I-140 information.
USCIS FOIA request (Freedom of Information request Act) is the answer to question “How to get i-140 copy from USCIS” if your employer is not sharing.

FOIA Filing fees

Filing fees for FOIA is $0 (zero). Its free with some conditions.
For your I-140 document request, you will most probably will NOT be required to pay anything.

Please do NOT send any fees payment at the time of your request. After receipt of your FOIA request, USCIS will contact you if any fees are required.

Except for commercial requests, the first 100 pages of reproduction and the first 2 hours of search time are provided without charge.
Thereafter, requests processed may incur fees of 10 cents per page for duplication.

Fees are charged if the combined cost for searches, duplication, and/or review is more than $14, and by submitting Form G-639, you agree to pay for fees up to $25.

i140 receipt copy retrieved using USCIS FOIA
i140 receipt copy retrieved using USCIS FOIA

#1 FOIA Request Online – USCIS FIRST Site

USCIS FIRST system allows  FOIA request to be made online. You will get an email your records are ready for download online in your account.

Create an account on USCIS website and link it to your case, you will be able to log in to the digital delivery center to view and download the records you requested. If you are already registered on USCIS website, you can login and link the case to your existing account.

#2 File FOIA by Postal Mail

Send a postal mail with form G-639 for Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act Request.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010


#3 FOIA Request by Email

Email OR FAX are also acceptable as a valid FOIA request by USCIS. Fill the same form G-639, get it notarized and then scan and send it to email address or FAX it.

USCIS Contact Center: 800-375-5283 or TTY 800-767-1833
Fax: 802-288-1793 or 816-350-5785

Sample G-639 form for I 140 – pre-filled

This sample pre-filled FOIA request gets you i140 approval notice and receipt number directly from USCIS without informing your employer.

Open link in new window.

Open sample G-639 form in new window.

You can use this same FOIA request to get other immigration records too.

USCIS FOIA Request Status Track – I140

FOIA request for i140 processing time is 1.5 months.

I-140 request is considered a simple request and hence falls in TRACK-1 request.

USCIS FOIA Request Control Number Status

USCIS sends an acknowledgement of FOIA application receipt by paper mail with FOIA control number (receipt number) to track your application status.

USCIS might first send a mail letter with UNC number in case they need more info about your identity. The UNC number is converted to NRC number after they have verified your identity. You will receive another mail letter with NRC number and PIN.

The USCIS FIRST (online account) is useful only after you get NRC number and PIN so as to register and receive the document online.

It can take up to 3 weeks for the mail to arrive. Use FOIA request control number (NRC) to check the status here on USCIS FOIA website.

Is Alien registration number mandatory?

Alien number is not required for FOIA request. But, it is better to provide as much information as possible to USCIS for easy search of your record.

For the primary beneficiary of I-140 application, the Alien number will be written on the I-140 approval form itself. Where is my A number?

Sample i797 approval looks like this for I140 applications:

Open link in new window.

Hence, it is possible that you do not have it with you. This is fine and you should leave the field as blank in that case.

If the primary I-140 beneficiary has the EAD, then the Alien number can be found on EAD card mentioned as USCIS#.

Documents required for G-639 form

There are no supporting documents required for FOIA request and form G-639 request.

But, I strongly recommend to send a notarized copy of your passport or your driving license to help USCIS check your identity.

Many times, USCIS rejects the FOIA request simply because they cannot verify your identity.



Is PERM ETA number same as i140 A number?

No, ETA number and A number are not same.

Is form G-639 required to be Notarized?

The notary is not required for form G-639.
We recommend getting notary on G-639 to prove your identity and faster processing. In-fact, you should sign the form in front of NOTARY.
If you do not want notary, just sign yourself ‘under penalty of perjury‘.

Can we file FOIA for i140 request online?

You can file USCIS FOIA request to get i140 information online using USCIS FIRST website. It is fast and more reliable than email or mail requests.

Is i140 available online from FOIA?

Once your i140 request has been completed, USCIS makes the i140 receipt copy available for download online on FIRST website electronically.

How much is USCIS FOIA filing fees?

USCIS FOIA filing fees is zero (0) dollars.

Forms USA

Recent discussion on forum

  1. Namz

    Dear Anilji,

    I have a query regarding the FOIA request we raised for my spouse’s I-140 approval copy please. Detailed scenario as below:
    Request #1 - Sent email with scanned copies of notarized documents (Form G-639 + Passport) - no response received over 30 days

    Request #2 - Tried to raise a request online, attached scanned copies of notarized documents (Form G-639 + Passport) - upload kept failing. So rebooted my computer and raised request #3 as below

    Request #3 - Raised request online successfully with notarized documents attached (Form G-639 + Passport) and also got a ‘Control Number - NRCXXXXXX’

    Now I have received a mail by post from USCIS asking to prove self identity with a UNPXXX-. I think this may be due to Request #2 where the documents failed to get uploaded.

    Question: What should I do now?

    1. Send them the notarized copies and give them the NRC control number that I was able to successfully generate on the 3rd attempt?
    2. Ignore that mail and let them process Request #3?
      Please advise. I dont want them to reject either of the requests due to any duplication.

    Thank you so much,

  2. Anil.Gupta

    Hi @Namz

    How do you know that USCIS has responded to your Request 2 and not 3?

    USCIS must have mentioned a reference request number and would have given instructions on how to send them the documents.

    In any case, i suggest to follow the instructions and send the documents. Do not ignore.

  3. Namz

    You are right, we do not know which Request # they responded to - thank you for your kind suggestion Anilji, we had all documents notarized, so immediately sent them the requested details and documents via registered post. Hoping they provide us the I-140 approval copy soon. This helps - thank you so much again.

  4. Srinivasan

    Hi Anil,
    I submitted my request on 03/21/2019 and got NRC number. Its been more than 5 months and still it shows “777 of 4512 pending requests”. Will it take this much time. Is it possible to expedite it? Can I resubmit the request as I didn’t mention my Alien Number in previous one. Please let me know.


  5. abhi1

    Thanks for this post, I have applied FOIA for I-140 through online on 09/10/2019 and Completed on 10/19/2019.
    Steps are very easy and straight forward, just few forms to fill,
    I have provided passport number and I-94 number and did not provide receipt number as I don’t have it, At the end of the application I uploaded only notarized passport(including h1b visa page, Notarized only first page) and notarized driving license.

    The initial request has been created on the portal with REQXXXXXX number and in a week request number got changed to NRCXXXXXX, and on the same day, I see an acknowledgement letter saying - I have the requested only for i-140 and its been put under track 1 of multitracking system.

    Intially, I see the status as “Files Requested”, and then in around 10 to 15 days, I see the status as “Files has been received from NRC” and case status has been changed to something like - “In review”.

    I see the pending requests changes everyday soemthing like 3450 of 3675, 3350 of 3600, 3250 of 3600, … till it reaches 1900 of 3450.
    on 10/19/2019 my request has been completed and I see the i-140 petitiion in document library section.

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8 more replies

  187 Useful Questions & Answers

  1. Test
    Test 22 May, 19 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Anil

    Can you let me know the processing time for I140 copy FOIA request. I send the documents and they received it on March 5th (2.5 months from now) and I am still waiting for the documets?

    FYI : I have already received the NRC number 1.5Months ago

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 22 May, 19 at 7:54 pm

      You can check the current track 1 requests processing time on USCIS website. Link is given above.

  2. shah
    shah 10 May, 19 at 8:58 am

    Hi Anil – Thanks for creating this page. I have searched a lot for this information and can say that this is the best information available in the web.

    I submitted my G-639 form over 2 months ago. Got an acknowledgement letter in about 3 weeks with NRC number and I linked the request with my USCIS online account.
    1. When I look at my status on, it says “place in queue – 2021 of 5796 pending requests”. When I check my status on, it says “2333 of 2655 pending request. Do you know which one is accurate?

    2. On, it shows the current status as “File Requested – Your request has been reviewed and the National Records Center has placed a request for responsive documents.”. Do you know what does “request for responsive documents” mean? I am wondering if they need some additional information from me for processing the request.

    Any information on the above questions will be helpful. Thank You

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 10 May, 19 at 9:26 am

      I would suggest to rely on status.

      You do not need to submit anything unless USCIS specifically sends you an email asking for more documents.
      The status simply means that USCIS has asked national records center to share the documents requested by you.

      Don’t worry, you will get the i140 soon.

  3. vasu devan
    vasu devan 4 May, 19 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Anil, Hope you are doing good.. !!

    One quick question, Regd the – FOIA for the i140 approval copy…

    1. In the Part 3 ( Purpose ) of this record.., — Should we write the same as that you provided in the sample document ? – Because i might need this for applying H4EAD and for any new employment …so what should be the reason i should write ?

    2. When we request for i140 approval copy through FOIA – Is it going to be only the first 2 page of document that we would receive ? Or will it also be many pages ( like we have as part of H1B petition document the Classification supplement / LCA etc )

    Generic question about I140 (not related to FOIA)

    A. Is it that – Approval copy through FOIA for this I140 information is available only at the end of 180 days ?
    B. What would happen to the i140 document after 180 days — I have read many blog , but not able to understand .
    a) ..Is fresh I140 approval document (from new employer where we might join leaving the current employer ) needed from the

    new employer ?? before joining them ? …

    b) What happens to the Current I140 document if the current employer
    withdraws after the 180 days ?? — Can i not use this document at all to get employment from the new employer ?

    Thanks in advance. !


    • vasu devan
      vasu devan 4 May, 19 at 11:14 pm

      Also, follow up question.,, on filling the FOIA request document.. .

      In the section “Other Information about the Subject of Record”..,.. In the Application, Petition or Request Receipt #, Should i provide the I140 Receipt # or the Pending I-129 Receipt # ?

      Thanks in advance


  4. vishnu reddy
    vishnu reddy 2 May, 19 at 1:44 pm

    Hi Anil, I used this site as base and started my process on January 2019, request was placed in Track two and exactly after 4 months, I got my I140 copy. Really appreciate your work, its simple, precise and importantly very helpful to people like me.

    I got the document which is the original I-140 copy filed by my employer with Approved Stamp(DHS) and Priority Date handwritten in the section which says ‘For USCIS use only’, I did not get any I-797. Will this I-140 Approved copy work for changing employer or applying H4-EAD, Please let me know.


    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 2 May, 19 at 4:33 pm

      Congratulations and thanks for sharing your details.

      You can use the i140 you got from FOIA for any legal purpose. Don’t worry.

      • vishnu reddy
        vishnu reddy 2 May, 19 at 6:03 pm

        Thanks a ton Anil

  5. bsen
    bsen 14 Apr, 19 at 5:01 pm

    Hi, I raised the FOIA request three months ago and still there is no update. When i reached to FOIAPAQuestions mail group, they told that the case is open and will receive the update once its completed. Please let me know do we need to simply wait or any other way to expedite it?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 14 Apr, 19 at 6:25 pm

      You need to wait. It will be processed soon.

      • bsen
        bsen 14 Apr, 19 at 6:25 pm

        ok Thanks!

  6. MDash
    MDash 9 Apr, 19 at 9:29 am

    Hi, I have received the email for USCIS that FOIA is processed and my document is ready for download from my USCIS account. But i do not find any document when i log into my USCIS account. Its more that 10 days after i received the email. Can anyone please help and let me know they faced similar issues? What should i do here now?

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 9 Apr, 19 at 9:58 am

      Are you logging into USCIS FIRST website and have you connected your case number there?

  7. Sherin
    Sherin 19 Mar, 19 at 10:51 pm

    Since I will be relocation to a new state in US based on my new assignment in next 1 month, for now shall I give my friends address in the G-639 form? or Will they use USPS to deliver the I140 approval copy over mail, so that I can use mail forwarding option to my new address.

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 20 Mar, 19 at 8:12 am

      You can give your friend’s address on the form. But, you can access your documents online as well if you register on USCIS FIRST website (link given above) as and when USCIS has processed your FOIA request.

  8. Mazin
    Mazin 3 Mar, 19 at 9:09 pm

    Which is the fastest way to get the I-140 through FOIA ? Email or Postal mail ? Also would adding some Proof of identity notarized is required and would reduce turn around time to verify identity ? The above post doesn’t specify about identity notarization. Appreciate any help

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 3 Mar, 19 at 9:15 pm

      It is better to add identity document with notarization. The fastest way is to apply FOIA for i140 by email.

      • Mazin
        Mazin 3 Mar, 19 at 9:29 pm

        Thank you so much Anil. This is very helpful. Really appreciate your help & contribution to H1-B community.

      • Mazin
        Mazin 4 Mar, 19 at 8:29 pm

        Hi Anil,
        Is it advisable to do both email and postal mail ? would this increase the possibility of responding faster in one channel or the other ?

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 4 Mar, 19 at 9:11 pm

          Why do you want to file two applications?

          • Mazin
            Mazin 27 Mar, 19 at 4:05 pm

            I had filed my email application on March 4th. I haven’t got any response / acknowledgment yet from USCIS. Its been 24 days. I called up USCIS customer service and they said they dont see any outstanding application for me. Probably they haven’t processed my request yet. Would sending another request through mail now would help ? Thats one of the reason i was asking if we had to do 2 requests one by email and mail. What is the usual SLA for receipt notice ?

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 27 Mar, 19 at 4:13 pm

              You can send another request if you want.

  9. Kumar
    Kumar 1 Mar, 19 at 12:50 am

    Hi Anil, My employer did not provided the I140 Receipt number and Alien Number. But recently they applied my H1b Extn and I got the H1b Extn Receipt notice also. In H1b Receipt notice – Beneficiary section, along with my full name, there is a number in format “AXXX XXX XXXX” (A with 9 digit number). Pls let me know, Is this Alien number?

    If Yes, I would like to mention this Alien Number in my FOIA request for I140 Approval copy

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 1 Mar, 19 at 5:42 pm

      I can;t really say if this is Alien number or not without looking at it.

      Usually, the A number starts with A though.

  10. Kumar
    Kumar 27 Feb, 19 at 1:25 am

    Hi Anil

    I want to request for my I140 Approval copy through FOIA eMail. Please clarify the below

    1. What should I mention in G639 form “Description of Records Sought”.
    Can I say like. “Please provide the copy of I140 Approval Notice and please provide the I140 Receipt number”
    2. Should I notarized only form G-639 (or) G-639 + One Identity (DL/Passport etc)?
    3. Do I need to provide any other notarized or certification of identity forms other than above?
    4. Can I notarize the G639 and other docs in the Bank?

    Thanks in advance

    • Anil Gupta
      Anil Gupta 27 Feb, 19 at 9:33 am

      I have added a sample G-639 form in the above article for your reference.

      It is always a good idea to notarize all documents that you are sending. You can notarize anywhere you like, including a bank.

      • Kumar
        Kumar 27 Feb, 19 at 6:43 pm

        Thanks Anil

        Could you also pls provide your inputs for Point1

        2) Is only Passport Notary is sufficient or should I do notary for 2nd Identity also (Like DL copy). My current address is not matching with address on DL. So If only one Identity notary is fine, then I will skip DL notary

        3) Pls provide your inputs for Point3 also from above

        Thanks again

        • Anil Gupta
          Anil Gupta 27 Feb, 19 at 7:17 pm

          You can write the i140 statement that you have mentioned.
          As already answered, it would be better if you notarize all documents that you are submitting.

          • Kumar
            Kumar 27 Feb, 19 at 7:32 pm

            Sorry, if my question got confused and does not make sense. But I am trying to know if one Identity (Passport) notary is sufficient or should I do notary for at least two Identity documents

            2) Other than G639 Form and Identity, any other forms should I go for notary

            • Anil Gupta
              Anil Gupta 27 Feb, 19 at 9:18 pm

              One identity proof document is enough as per my opinion.
              What other forms are you sending other than G639 and Identity?

              • Kumar
                Kumar 27 Feb, 19 at 11:38 pm

                I am sending the notarized G639 and Passport. Will this be enough or should I send any other notarized documents.?

                • Anil Gupta
                  Anil Gupta 27 Feb, 19 at 11:52 pm

                  Hi Kumar,
                  You are asking the same question multiple times.
                  My answer is same and it is available in my previous reply.

                  • Kumar
                    Kumar 27 Feb, 19 at 11:52 pm

                    Yes Anil. You already provided the response that these two documents should be fine and both must be notarized.
                    Once again thanks for all your help and especially for quick responses.

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