USCIS to Process FOIA Requests Digitally

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today the second testing phase of the agency’s pilot program to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests online.

The online interface, called the FOIA Immigration Records System (FIRST), is slated to allow requestors of agency records to create an online account, submit a request, monitor the progress of said request, and finally download their requested documents. According to USCIS, streamlining FOIA requests for digital submission and delivery will “save time, improve efficiency, and eliminate potential errors that can occur with manually issuing a CD,” which is the existing method of responding to FOIA requests.

USCIS did not specify a date by which FIRST will be fully operational to all users, and added that until the online platform is rolled out fully, FOIA requests should continue being submitted via mail, fax, or e-mail.

Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients worldwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled over ten thousand immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, EB-5, PERM, I-485 I-130, H-1B, O, L and J cases. In the past twenty-two years, we have successfully helped over ten thousand clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

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