Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System (or FIRST) is an online system for USCIS to process FOIA, Privacy Act, and Privacy Act amendment requests. FIRST is the only system in the U.S. government that allows users to submit and track FOIA requests and receive documents digitally. Using FIRST requesters can use a completely electronic FOIA/Privacy Act system, for submitting requests online and retrieving / downloading documents.

FIRST was initially rolled out in May 2018, allowing requestors to create a USCIS online account to receive requested documents digitally. The initial rollout of FIRST created more than 77,000 USCIS online accounts to manage and receive FOIA responses.

USCIS has now announced that beginning June 25, 2019 all FOIA requestors with a USCIS online account can submit FOIA requests online for their own records. Soon, the requestors will be able to submit online requests for non-A-File material (policies, communications etc.) and later this year, USCIS online account holders can make requests on behalf of another person.

At GLF will continue to follow further developments in this matter and we will provide updates through our Newsletter as and when they become available.

GLF receives numerous emails and phone calls every day asking for comment on various proposed bills and media reports that are often inaccurate. It is our job to separate fact from fiction and advice clients on important updates that are relevant. The best way to receive accurate information is through GLF Newsletters. We encourage you (and your employees) to sign up for GLF Newsletter. If you are not already signed up to receive our Newsletters, please do so by visiting and signing up under the Newsletter Tab. All we need is your name and email address and it takes very little time to sign up. You can also review all of our earlier GLF Newsletters on our website.

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