Normally, USCIS processes FOIA requests (Form G-639, Freedom of Information Act Request) using a first-in, first-out method. In extraordinary situations, the requester can ask for a request to be expedited so that it skips ahead in the normal first-in, first-out method.
G-639 Expedited Processing Guidelines
USCIS may grant expedited processing if the requester establishes either:
- Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or
- An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information.
USCIS makes a decision for expedited processing on a case-by-case basis in accordance with established guidelines (6 C.F.R. §5.5(d)). If you do not meet the requirements for expedited processing of Form G-639, you may qualify for priority processing.
How to Request Expedited Processing
Submit a cover letter with Form G-639 that makes your request for expediting processing. Your request for expedited processing must include statement, certified true and correct, explaining the basis for requesting expedited treatment.
USCIS will make a decision to grant or deny an expedited processing request within 10 calendar days of receiving the request. If a decision is made to deny the request, USCIS will advise you of the reason, and USCIS will process your G-639 FOIA Request using the normal first-in, first-out method. You may resubmit the request or appeal the denial decision.