USCIS Expands Digital Delivery of FOIA Requests

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently announced the second phase of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records SysTem (FIRST). This system is designed to bring FOIA requests into the digital age. More details on FOIA are available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, FOIA Request Can Help Resolve Some Immigration Cases (09.Aug.2017).

Tracking Status Online and Receipt of Digital Documents

The updated FIRST allows anyone with a FOIA request with the USCIS to track the status of the request through an online account. The system also allows the person to receive the requested documents digitally.

Online FOIA Requests Not Yet Available

For the time being, FOIA requests to the USCIS must continue to be made by mail, fax, or eMail. Eventually, the goal is for FIRST to allow FOIA requests to be submitted electronically.


FIRST is intended to make the FOIA process faster and more efficient. It is unclear how long it will take before the project is completed and operational.


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