Requests for personal data
This page explains how you can make a request to see the personal information about you that is held by the UK Border Agency.
We value the information that you provide to us, and agree to look after it in accordance with the UK Border Agency information charter (PDF 76K opens in new window).
The processing of personal data (information relating to living individuals) is governed by the Data Protection Act 1998, which makes it possible for you to request access to this information.
Such a request is called a Subject Access Request (SAR), and you should expect a response from us within 40 days.
Making a Subject Access Request
Anyone can make a SAR for information that we hold about them - you do not need any special skills or qualifications. To make a SAR, you must provide:
- a cheque or postal order for £10, payable to 'The Home Office Accounting Officer'; and
- sufficient personal information to enable us to uniquely identify you - for example, a copy of your passport or driver's licence, original utility bills, and your Home Office reference number if you have one.
If you do not provide these, or if the 'pay' line of the cheque or postal order is not completed correctly, we will reject your application and return it with a letter setting out what is missing. Your request will not be processed.
All requests must be made in writing and signed, all requests made by email will be rejected. You may find it helpul to use the subject access request (SAR) found on the right hand side of this page.
If you are applying for a SAR on behalf of someone else (for example, if you are acting on behalf of a child aged between 12 and 17 years), you must also provide a signed authority from that person, confirming that you are acting on their behalf. This must be an original - copies will not be accepted. If you do not provide this, we will return your SAR to you with a letter setting out what is missing, and your request will not be processed. Please note that you do not need to provide a signed authority if you are applying on behalf of a child who is less than 12 years old. However, your request will be refused if we are not satisfied that you are a legal guardian of the child and you have not supplied an original signed authority of a legal guardian.
If you just want us to provide you with a specific document, please just ask us for that; this will make it easier, and probably quicker for us to respond to your request.
If you include a dependant on your SAR and you have only paid one £10 fee, it is likely that we will request another £10 fee for each dependant.
Please send your SAR to:
UK Border Agency
40 Wellesley Road
When you make an SAR, it is helpful if you can say why you want the information you are asking for. This may assist us to find the information more quickly.
We recommend that you use our form to help you make a SAR - the form sets out the requirements in more detail and should make it more likely that your SAR is accepted, although you are entitled to submit a SAR without using the form if you prefer. You can download the subject access request (SAR) on the right hand side of this page.
If you have already made an SAR via a representative - and we have responded to it - and you change your representative, please tell your new representative that you have already received information from us.
Requests for other types of information
The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request general information about our work. You can find out how to make a request on the Freedom of information requests page.
If you want information about the progress of an application that you have made, you can find out the standard waiting time for application decisions by looking at the section of this website covering your type of application. Our staff cannot provide any information about your application if you applied less than 6 months ago. We will contact you as soon as a decision has been made or if we require further information.
Making a complaint
If you are not satisfied with the response to your SAR, you can seek an independent review by writing to:
UK Border Agency
11th Floor, Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Please state when and to whom your original request was made.