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Request Status Frequently Asked Questions

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How Do I Know You Received My Request?

The Genealogy Program acknowledges online requests using the receipt generated when a request is successfully processed and submitted.  The receipt includes the case identification number/Case ID (i.e., GEN-1000XXXX) and date of submission (open date).  You will not receive any additional correspondence from us until your request has been completed.  Please do not submit a duplicate request on the same immigrant as it only delays your initial request and adds to our backlog.

To confirm your Genealogy mail requests we will send you an acknowledgment letter through U.S. Postal Mail to the address provided in your request.  The acknowledgment letter will include the date we received your request and the assigned case identification number (i.e., CMT-1XXXXXXXX).  If you do not receive our acknowledgment letter within 20 days, please send us an e-mail.

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How Can I Check on the Progress of My Request?

In most cases, the processing time for Genealogy Requests is currently 90 days. The USCIS Genealogy Program only accepts case status inquiries by email at . You can also monitor your request status through our Genealogy Request Case Status Inquiry webpage . .

USCIS Genealogy Program
1200 First Street NE Room 230
Washington, DC 20529-2206

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90 Days Passed - Where Are the Records I Requested?

You may not have received the records you requested for one or more of the following reasons:


  • The Genealogy Team is still waiting for the file to arrive from another USCIS office or storage facility;
  • The records you requested contain information about a third party whose privacy must be protected under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552;
  • You provided an incorrect record citation number (i.e., file number) when you submitted your records request and we sent you an interim letter requesting the correct information or we converted your Record Request to an Index Search Request;
  • Our systems reflect that the file number provided pertains to another subject.  In this instance, the Genealogy Program will provide a refund of the Records Request fee only if the Genealogy Program provided the information based on a previous Index Search Request; and/or 
  • The file contains classified documents and/or information that the Office of Security must review for declassification before releasing the file.

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How Can I Help to Make Processing My Record Request Faster?

You can help speed our response to your record request by providing proof of death for any other persons one expects to be identified in a file.  If all individuals identified in the file are proven deceased the file can be released without processing under the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA).  Other persons most commonly found in the records are the immigrant subject's children, spouse, and/or siblings. Acceptable documentary proof includes the following:

  • Acceptable documentary proof includes any of the following:
  • Photocopy of Death Certificate
  • US Social Security Death Index record (individual record only, no lists)
  • Printed obituary, funeral program, or photograph of gravestone
  • Bible, church, or other religious death record
  • Record relating to the payment of death benefits
  • Other document demonstrating the individual is deceased

The Genealogy Program most often finds other persons ("third parties") named and identified in the following files:

  • C-Files
  • A-Files
  • Registry Files
  • Visa Files

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/08/2015