USCIS to implement online FOIA requests

USCIS has recently announced that they will begin processing Freedom of Information Act requests online.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the launch of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records SysTem (FIRST), which will eventually allow users to submit, manage, and receive FOIA requests entirely online. Before this change, USCIS only accepted FOIA requests by mail, fax, and email, and requesters typically received their documents on a compact disc by mail. USCIS is commencing FIRST’s digital delivery of services in phases. Initially, requesters who have an immigration court date pending and file a request for documents can create an account within myUSCIS to receive documents digitally, eliminating the time and expense associated with receiving requests by mail. Through their account, requesters can track the status of their FOIA cases and will receive email notification when USCIS has uploaded their records. In the coming months, this digital delivery option will be expanded to all FOIA and Privacy Act (PA) requesters. When FIRST is fully operational, requesters will be able to use a completely digital FOIA/PA system, from online submission to retrieving and downloading responsive documents. USCIS will notify the public as additional services become available.

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