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Freedom of information

​​Freedom of information laws allow access by the general public to data held by national governments.

​​​​Making a freedom of information (FOI) request​​​

​To make a freedom of information (FOI) request, complete the online form.​


This form must only be used to make a new FOI request.

Do not use this form to ask for a progress update about a visa, citizenship or an FOI request you already lodged.

Do not use this form to provide additional information about an FOI request already submitted.

Do not use this form to ask for data or statistics​. If you attempt to make an FOI request for data or statistics it may be refused as the Department has developed a different way for you to make this request.

Incorrectly using the webform may result in duplicate requests being registered and slower service for everyone.​​

​When asking for information or documents:

  • Be clear about what you are requesting. Include information that is to the point and clearly understood. If we need to clarify what you are seeking this will delay your request.
  • Be as specific as possible. This will ensure that we can get you the fastest response.
  • We will refuse requests if responding to it would unreasonably divert our resources. 
  • If you are asking for documents about yourself, you will be prompted by the form to provide evidence of your identity.
  • If you are asking for documents we hold about you, then no charge applies. However, we may charge for other requests.​

After you have made your request

We will send you an acknowledgment letter. We usually send this by email once we receive and register your FOI request. Read the acknowledgment letter carefully for further instructions.

FOI requests are generally processed in the order they are received. If we need more information, we will contact you.

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, we will send you a letter. This will explain our decision and your review and appeal rights, if applicable.

We are committed to processing your FOI request as soon as possible.

Due to sustained high demand for this service, we cannot respond to individual FOI request progress enquiries. Do not email or contact us for a status update on your request. This ensures we can process as many requests as possible, including yours.

Alternative ways to make your FOI request​

You can make your request by:

To make a request for access to documents by email or post, you must:

  • provide a physical address or email. This is where we will send our decision and any documents approved for release
  • provide enough information for us to identify the documents
  • state that you are making the request under the FOI Act.

If you are requesting your personal information, include photographic identification with your request. This helps us protect your privacy. Examples of photographic identification include:

  • Australian or international passport
  • Australian drivers licence
  • Australian State or Territory issued photo identity cards (Proof of Age card) 

Accepted formats include PDF, JPEG and PNG.