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Community Forums › General › General Discussion Groups › Suggestions for who researches to USCIS

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Suggestions for who researches to USCIS
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Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 427

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:42 am    Post subject: Suggestions for who researches to USCIS Reply with quote

Dear Friends, I found on PIE these informations:

A treasure trove of info on your ancestors -- the USCIS

I just went to a lecture about the USCIS (formerly the INS).
They have a master index to records that they hold and that NARA holds
You can ask for a search FOR FREE on any and all names of deceased persons, whether related to you or not. It can take a very long time, but you might come up with something. It's not just immigration records that they have. They have correspondence, photos, lots of things. This is located in Washington D.C.
The search may take 6 months to three years, but AS LONG AS you remember to ask for EVERYTHING they have on a PERSON and DO NOT specify what type of record you want, you may get some real treasures. This is a way to get through brick walls.

They have Alien Registration cards, too.
People had to give all their aliases. This might help some of you.
People often waited many years to be naturalized. Some did it because of the Alien Registration Act and some did it because of WW II.

Even if you already have found your ancestor's naturalization from NARA, you should ask again through USCIS (don't tell them what you want, just the person you want searched). They could have MUCH more info attached.

Here is the link to print the form and the address,
if you prefer to do it by snail mail:


US Citizenship and Immigration Service
National Records Center, FOIA 1PA Office
P.O. Box 648010
Lee's Summit, MO 64064-8010

Here is how to do it:

Send a freedom of info request. Ask them to send ANY info.
ID the person.
Don't ask for a specific record, ask for a person.
If they have 18 other records and not the one you asked for, they will say no record.
Give every name, every spelling, every alias they ever used, year and
country of birth and alternates, give an idea of when they arrived and where they lived in USA.

Make a copy of the whole thing when you mail it in. Within six to eight
weeks you should have a case number. If you don't have the number in 8
weeks, make another copy and send it again and again until you get case
number. Then every three months check status using case number.

When you get your answer back, you have 30 days to appeal it. If you don't like the answer, immediately turn it around and they'll keep it open under that same number. Otherwise you lose your place in the queue.

The most important thing is the LAST time your person had contact with the government, not the first time. So don't get upset if they tell you they have info on someone that matches, but much later than you thought.

Also, a lot of people came on the wrong kind of visa, or no visa, and had to
leave the country and re-enter. Sometimes that meant they went to Canada or Mexico or Cuba for the weekend and re-entered from there. It's good to check those border crossings for your people.

Dee Whiting

I hope it helps,
bye Riccardo kiss


HELP ME to find the ship manifest of 1902 to USA, about my GGFather Francesco Paolo BRUNO from Trapani (1860/1938)
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Joined: Jul 10, 2007
Posts: 4375
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: Suggestions for who researches to USCIS Reply with quote

Great information, Riccardo!

I was just talking about this last night and Dee is right..you need to request the COMPLETE FILE on a person.

Thanks for sharing the information. I made it a sticky.


Italian Surname Database

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