Finding Alien and Naturalization Records Using USCIS

Finding Alien and Naturalization Records Using USCIS sassy jane genealogyRecently I was helping a client try to prove that his immigrant ancestor had not been naturalized and this resource was very helpful:

The USCIS (US Customs and Immigration Service) maintains historical records documenting the arrival and naturalization of millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the late 1800s or/and naturalized between 1906 and 1956.

The USCIS Genealogy Program is a fee-for-service program that provides researchers with timely access to historical immigration and naturalization records of deceased immigrants.

Index Search: Using biographical information provided by the researcher, USCIS searches its historical immigration and naturalization record indices for citations related to a specific immigrant. Search results (record citations) are returned to the researcher, along with instructions on how to request the file(s) from USCIS or the National Archives. Fee: $20

Record Copy Request: Researchers with valid record citations (USCIS file numbers), gained through a USCIS Genealogy Program index search or through independent research, may request copies of historical immigration and naturalization records. Fee: $20/$35 depending on the record type.

The records and their span dates available through the USCIS Genealogy Program are:

  • Naturalization Certificate Files (C-files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956;
  • Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944;
  • Visa files from July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944;
  • Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944;
  • Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million (A8000000) and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951.

Individuals may submit genealogy records requests by using the forms, G-1041 – Genealogy Index Search Request and G-1041A – Genealogy Records Request. Both forms are available on the USCIS Genealogy Program page at:

The fees are:

Genealogy Index Search – $20

Copy of a File on Microfilm – $20

Copy of a Textual File Copy – $35

By |26 Apr 2013|genealogy, immigration records, naturalization records, research tips|Comments Off on Finding Alien and Naturalization Records Using USCIS

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”