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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/requests-for-personal-data-uk-visas-and-immigration/request-personal-information-held-by-uk-visas-and-immigration
You can request personal information about you that is held on the Home Office’s immigration records (this is also known as a ‘subject access request’).
Processing these requests is expensive for the UK taxpayer. Because of this, and so we can give you the best service, you should be as clear as you can about the information you need.
Types of request
There are 3 types of request you can make. All types of request are free of charge. If multiple requests are made for the same person, the first request received will be treated as your sole application.
You will receive a response within 30 days of your identity being verified by the Home Office.
We are not able to provide personal data held on paper records due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
If, after you’ve received a detailed response from the Home Office, you still need to make a request for personal data held on paper records you should email email@example.com. We’ll respond to your request as soon as we can.
Please email us if you no longer require the additional paper records, or if your contact information changes.
You can request a copy of:
- an electronic summary of your immigration history
- landing cards we hold electronically
- 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
- Entry and exit into and out of the UK. Your travel history can be provided for the past 5 years if a passport or travel document is submitted for this period
Most people find that this option gives them all the information they need.
You can request specific information if you need to. You should clearly describe what documents you need.
You can request copies of up to 5 single documents, for example:
- a list of your applications
- a particular decision letter
- the outcome of an appeal (appeal determination)
- a particular detention progress report
- a deportation order
- a particular interview record
If you need more information than the single documents in this list, you will need to make a detailed request.
This allows you to request a copy of your Home Office paper file.
Initially, you will be sent an electronic summary of your immigration information (as with a basic application) this gives most people what they need.
However, this option also allows you to request further information from your Home Office paper file if the electronic data did not fulfil your request.
Refining your request to state clearly what paper records you need will help your application.
How to make a request
Using the online application will reduce the time it takes to respond to your request.
Use the online application form to request access to personal information held by UKVI
You can also contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you:
- have a query about making a subject access request
- have a query about a subject access request you have received
- sent a request by post before 19 March 2020 and you have not received acknowledgement of your request
Evidence to send
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.
In addition to the questions about you in the application form, we also need the following evidence to confirm your identity:
- a copy of your photo identification, such as a passport
- a letter 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.
You will be advised where to email your evidence in your application form. Your application will not be accepted until we receive these documents, and it will be automatically rejected if you do not send them within 15 days of making your application.
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:
- driving licence
- biometric residence card
- national identity card
- travel document
If none of the above is available then you will need to send a recent photograph.
Please do not send original documents but a good quality clear colour photocopy is required.
Letter of permission
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
- confirmation that you give permission for your records to be sent to a third party representative – if they are completing the application on your behalf
- your signature and the date, within the last 6 months – please note your signature as well as your photo identification is used to verify that the person making the request is entitled to do so
If you are completing this application for a child under 12; have the power of attorney for an applicant; or are a litigation friend, you can sign the letter of permission on the applicant’s behalf.
Proof of your relationship
If you are making a request 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
Additionally, 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.
Contact and complaints
If you need help
If you would like more information or help filling in your form, contact us by email email@example.com.
We prefer requests are not made by email as this may delay your application if we have to seek further information to verify your identity.
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
The Office of the Data Protection Officer (ODPO) will investigate complaints in relation to suspected or identified breaches of subject rights under the DPA18.
This includes subject access rights, the ODPO expects that you would give SARU the opportunity to consider your concerns first and, subsequently, seek resolution via the Home Office complaints procedure (as detailed above), before taking a complaint to them.
Email customer services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the ODPO is also unable to provide updates in relation to outstanding Subject Access Requests.
You should email email@example.com if you:
- want to complain about the processing of your personal data
- want to 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
Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)
The ICO have a duty to adjudicate on individual complaints, as the regulator of the DPA, individuals have a right (at s165) 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.