Re: USCIS questions

Renée K. Carl


It is not known when the proposed fees would be put in place, if at all. The immediate next step is for USCIS to review all the comments, weigh the evidence, and make decisions. The group of us at Records Not Revenue is keeping an eye on things, as is RPAC and others.

The USCIS Genealogy Program maintains information on this website: I suggest reviewing things there. As Mark said, it's not about when they arrived, though that can be a factor, it is more about when and if they naturalized. There are many, many "it depends..." but here are some basics to keep in mind:

If they were alive and NOT naturalized in 1940, when registration of Aliens began, they would have an Alien Registration Form
If they naturalized after 1944, they would have an A-file. Note that many A-files are in the process of going from USCIS to NARA-Kansas City or San Bruno, or are already there.
If they naturalized, they would have a C-file, but depending on when, the C-file won't contain more than the 3 forms of the Naturalization process available at various NARA locations.
Arrival after 1924? Visa files
Issues finding landing papers? Registry file.

There are other unique cases, such as you need to make an index search request if you think there might be an extant Board of Special Inquiry case file related to deportation hearings. Or, as in the case of my grandfather, he arrived as a child, naturalized under his father, as was the law at the time. However, when my grandfather was in his late 60s, he wrote to what was then INS to request a copy of his naturalization certificate, and to ask if his father's file gave information on proof of my grandfather's birth, as he needed to prove to Social Security his age in order to get his benefits. This created a whole slew of forms and papers that gave me details about my grandfather no one had before seen, such as a letter from the school board stating his age in first grade and the name of the school.

Every request made to USCIS is for an individual, so 4 grandparents and 2 greats = 6 requests. An index search is $65 and the copy of the resulting findings is also $65, though again, there are several "it depends" situations.

I hope this helps
Renee Carl
Washington DC

CARL/CARROLL/KAROL Volhynia, Boston, St Louis
LERNER Sudylkiv, Boston, St. Louis
KATSCHER/KATHER/KETCHER Vidzy, Daugavpils, NYC, St. Louis

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