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Special FOIA processing track for individuals appearing before an Immigration Judge
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Effective 30th March, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will improve its processing of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the general public by establishing a third processing track for individuals appearing before an immigration court. Currently, a large portion of FOIA requests are submitted by individuals who have received a Notice to Appear for a hearing before an immigration judge or by such individuals' attorneys or representatives. USCIS will be able to provide the public with more expeditious service by creating an additional processing track and thereby improve customer satisfaction.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act and the Department of Homeland Security's implementing regulations, the Secretary of Homeland Security may use two or more processing tracks for responding to FOIA requests. Currently, USCIS has two tracks: Track 1 is for less complex requests that can be processed in 20 working days or less. Track 2 is for complex requests that may require more than 20 working days to process and that include searching and line-by-line review of numerous pages of information.  

USCIS will now be establishing a third processing track, the "Notice To Appear" track, which will allow for accelerated access to the Alien-File (A-File) for those individuals who have been served with a charging document and have been scheduled for a hearing before an immigration judge as a result.

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