Re: I Waited 18 Months For ONE LOUSY PAGE (Not Even A Full Page)?! What Is This Thing Anyway? #records

Renée K. Carl

Hi Michele
Thank you for the additional details. What you describe is pretty typical for a C-file of that time period. A person might not always have a Declaration of Intention, and the actual Certificate of Arrival (the slip of paper) would have been shared with the court examining his Petition for Naturalization. The Application for a Certificate of Arrival and Preliminary Form for Petition and the Statement of Facts to be Used in Filing Petition are only sometimes seen in a C-file, and typically only in this post 1950 era. This was a time of change, and bits and pieces ended up in places inconsistently. Keep in mind there is a difference between INS (now USCIS records, court records and copies of various documents that were sent to different places, hence my question about the "duplicate" stamp).

What is worth noting is because you did not request an Index Search, we do not know what happened to his A-file, and why it was not consolidated into the C-file. The AR-2 would have been in the A-file. The consolidation would have been at the time, not a recent mistake. If he arrived post 1924, the A-file would have also had his Visa file.

As one of the people leading the advocacy for getting USCIS records to NARA, I appreciate your support of our work. USCIS, and all other departments and agencies, have signed record schedules and agreements with NARA on the disposition of their records and what will happen to them. For example, C-files are set to be destroyed in 2056. To see additional details on the various records that are part of the USCIS Genealogy Program, you can reference the handouts created for IAJGS 2021 plus additional reference materials, including a great article on C-files.

Thank you for sharing these details, and I hope your experience helps others learn more.
Renee Carl
Washington DC

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