Release Date: June 25, 2019 

WASHINGTON— USCIS is announcing the expansion of its digital Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (FIRST). FIRST is the only system in the U.S. government that allows users to submit and track FOIA requests and receive documents digitally. This process will save time, improve efficiency, and reduce potential errors that can occur with manually handling paper. 

Certain FOIA Requests Can Be Submitted Electronically

The latest upgrade to FIRST now allows users to make certain FOIA requests electronically. As the USCIS website explains, “FOIA requestors with a USCIS online account can submit requests online for their own records. Soon, they will be able to submit online requests for non-A-File material (policies, communications, etc). Later this year, USCIS online account holders can make requests on behalf of another person.” 


 “As USCIS continues to move the nation’s legal immigration system away from paper-based services to an electronic future, “FIRST brings the antiquated FOIA process into the 21st century and makes it a more efficient and easy process.”

The USCIS hopes FIRSTultimately will improve FOIA processing times and reduce errors.