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Newest Source for Locating Immigrant Ancestors

ImmigrationUnder the U. S. Federal Department of Homeland Security, the agency of U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a new Genealogy Program to assist researchers in locating information on their immigrate ancestors. Over the decades there have been millions of immigrates arrive at American shores from Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia and the United States has maintained documents showing the arrival and for some the naturalization on those arrivals. The records go back to the late 19th century and into the 20th century. The newly designed program will help provide copies of records for researchers much more quickly.

The new USCIS Genealogy Program site can provide the information and forms for the following: a ‘Genealogy Index Search for $20, provide a copy of a ‘File on Microfilm” for $20 and a copy of a ‘Textural File’ for $35.

For the ‘Genealogy Index Search’ with the name and dates provided by the researcher, the USCIS checks all immigration and naturalization indexes, then sends all citations of the ancestor and how copies of the actual files can be ordered from the those on microfilm and the textural files.

Some of the types of files available include Visa Files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944, Alien Registration from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944, Naturalization Certificate Files from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956, Registry Files from March 1929 to March 31, 1944 (useful for immigrates who arrived before July 1, 1924 where there was no arrival records located), Chinese Exclusion Field Files 1882 to 1957 and Alien Files numbered below A8000000 and dated before May 1, 1951.

When submitting requests the researcher should include the immigrant’s full name along with variations of spellings, date of birth, birth country, where the immigrant lived in the United States and names of spouse and children. An important item needed would be to include proof of death of the ancestor if the person was born less than 100 years before the request was made by the researcher. The USCIS agency has managed to send the requested information to researchers within 90 days.

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