U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expanding its digital Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records System, FIRST. USCIS said FIRST is the only system in the U.S. government that allows users to submit and track FOIA requests and receive documents digitally.

FOIA entitles every person access to certain information from the federal government. FOIA requests can be critical in cases where the full picture of an applicant’s history matters to the success of their immigration petition/application.

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 materials.

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