Thinking about FOIA beyond its 53rd birthday on July 4th? Interested in how to submit and track FOIA and Privacy Act requests and receive documents digitally from U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)? The agency will demonstrate the system and answer the public’s questions during an hour-long webinar at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday July 9th.
The system, known as the FOIA Immigration Records System, or FIRST, allows FOIA requesters to submit online requests for their own records. USCIS’s transition to FIRST has been in the works for several years to replace a system that it began using in 1999. In an OGIS assessment of the USCIS FOIA program, published in February 2018, we noted that several features and functions of the FIRST system could further improve efficiency and customer service. OGIS also recommended that USCIS continue to explore how technology can further improve the processing of Alien Files (A-Files), the official government record for all immigration and naturalization records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944, and which are not static records.
USCIS receives and processes the largest number of FOIA requests government-wide—processing more than 186,000 requests in Fiscal Year 2018. The vast majority of those requesters seek access to A-Files. Soon, USCIS online account holders can make online requests on behalf of another person. Later this year, they can make online requests for non-A-File material such as policies or communications.
To join the event:
Call-in number: (888) 324-8137
Participant passcode: 6881475
To request a disability accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 a.m. EDT Monday July 8, 2019.