Request copies of personal information held in the borders, immigration and citizenship system

Updated 24 November 2023

1. Information you can request

You have the right to access your personal information, known as a ‘Subject Access Request’ (SAR) or a ‘Right of Access Request’, under the Data Protection Act 2018.

You can use this service to request personal information held on the Home Office’s immigration systems for yourself or someone else who has given you permission to act on their behalf.

The Subject Access Request Unit (SARU) handles all requests for information held by the following parts of the Home Office:

  • immigration

  • citizenship

  • Border Force

To provide you with the best service, we need you to be as clear as possible about the information you require.

We do not provide immigration status documents. You can check someone’s:

2. Request options

We offer 3 online request options, depending on the information you require. If multiple requests are made for the same person, we will contact you to confirm which information you require. All requests are free of charge.

You will receive a response within 1 month once we have all the supporting documents to process your request. If we write to you for further information, 1 month begins when we receive all documents. You do not need to contact us to track your request if it is still within this timeframe.

Your supporting documents must comply with the evidence guidance below.

Basic request

Most people find this option gives them all the information they need.

We will provide all of the digital information recorded about you since the year 2000, including:

  • details of your immigration history, for example, dates applications were submitted and decisions made

  • landing cards

  • visa applications you submitted from outside of the UK (as part of entry clearance)

  • Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) information if you are a national of Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia

Specific request

This is the best option if you require a particular document.

You can request specific information if you need to. You should clearly describe which documents you need.

You can request copies of up to 5 single documents, for example:

  • a list of your applications or a copy of a specific application form

  • a particular decision letter

  • the outcome of an appeal (appeal determination)

  • a particular detention progress report

  • a particular interview record

This list is not exhaustive. If you need something else, provide clear details of the document you are looking for.

Detailed request

Initially, you will be sent an electronic summary of your immigration information (as with a basic application). This gives most people what they need.

This option also allows you to request paper records from your Home Office file if the electronic data does not fulfil your request.

Refining your request to state clearly which paper records you need will help your application.

3. How to make a request

Apply online

Use the online application form.

We cannot accept applications from an address outside the UK through our online form. If you do not have a UK address, email your request to

Apply another way

You can make a request without using the online form, but it may mean we have to ask you for more information, delaying the start of the 1 month processing time.

You can email

You may also write to us at:

Subject Access Request Unit (SARU)
Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road

4. Supporting evidence

Protecting your information is important to us. For this reason, we need to be sure that the person requesting it has permission to do so.

We need the following evidence to confirm your identity:

  • a copy of your photo identification, such as a passport

  • a letter of authority, to give permission for your records to be sent to you or your representative

  • proof of your relationship, if you are applying for a child under 12

You should have this evidence ready before you start your application.

The application form will tell you how to send this evidence.

Your application will not be accepted until we receive these documents. It will be automatically rejected if you do not send them within 15 days of making your application.

Photo identification

We match your photograph against our systems to ensure we send personal information to the right person. This helps us keep your personal information safe.

Photo identification can include a copy of your:

  • passport

  • driving licence

  • biometric residence card

  • national identity card

  • travel document

If you do not have any of these, you will need to send a recent photograph.

Do not send original documents. We need a good quality, clear, colour photocopy.

We no longer require photo evidence to be certified.

Letter of authority

This can be a short letter or statement. We use this to be sure that you want your records to be sent to you and, if someone is applying on your behalf, that you have given your authority for them to do so.

The letter must include:

  • confirmation that you give permission for your records to be sent to you (or a third-party representative, if they are applying on your behalf)

  • your signature and the date, within the last 6 months

Your signature as well as your photo identification is used to verify that the person making the request is entitled to do so.

You can sign the letter of permission on the applicant’s behalf if any of these apply:

  • you are completing this application for a child under 12
  • you have the power of attorney for an applicant
  • you are a litigation friend

If you do, you must submit proof of your relationship.

Proof of your relationship

If you are applying on behalf of a child under 12

You must provide evidence of your relationship, so we are sure that you have the parental authority to do this.

This evidence can include:

  • a birth certificate

  • proof of parental responsibility

  • if you are divorced or no longer residing with the child, proof that you continue to hold or share parental responsibility, for example: a shared Parental Responsibility Order, Care Order, Adoption Order, Residence Order, Special Guardianship Order or permission from the parent who has sole custody or parental responsibility

If you are applying on behalf of someone because you have the power of attorney or are a litigation friend

You must provide evidence of this.

We will not be able to process your request without the required evidence being submitted unless the information is required to establish or exercise a legal claim.

Family applications

You need to apply separately for each family member.

5. What happens next

We will process your request within 1 month of receiving all information. You do not need to contact us to track your request.

When you may wait longer

Your request may take longer to process if we need additional information. We will contact you if we need more information.

In exceptional circumstances we may consider your request is complex, in which case the deadline can be extended. We will write to you separately explaining why.

Any data disclosed is the property of the data subject and should be retained by them for their records.

6. Contact and complaints

If you need help

If you would like more information or help filling in your form, contact us by email

You can also contact us by emailing if you:

  • have a query about making a subject access request

  • have a query about a subject access request you have made or received

Customer survey

After you have made your application, we will send you a link to complete an online survey. Your feedback will help us understand how we can improve our service.

Making a complaint

Email customer services at to seek resolution through the Home Office complaints procedure.

If you are not satisfied, you can contact the Office of the Data Protection Officer (ODPO). The ODPO investigates complaints in relation to suspected or identified breaches of subject rights under the Data Protection Act 2018. This includes subject access rights.

You should email if you want to:

  • complain about the processing of your personal data

  • complain to the Home Office Data Protection Officer

You will need to provide:

  • your reference number

  • the date the original request was made

  • information on how you made the request, for example online or by post

The ODPO is unable to provide updates about outstanding subject access requests.

Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The ICO adjudicates on individual complaints. Individuals have a right under section 165 of the Data Protection Act to bring a complaint to the ICO.

However, the role of the ICO remains as a regulator, not an ombudsman. More often, the ICO use complaints to help build up a picture of a data controller’s general compliance which will then inform decisions as to whether we need to take more formal enforcement action.

Complain to the ICO.

Find details of which personal information is held and processed by the Home Office.