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USCIS and its names


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January 15, 2013

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Research into U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency history is complicated by the many name changes it experienced over time.  From the Bureau of Immigration in the 1890’s to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the 1930’s to USCIS today, you may have to search many agency names to identify all possible resources for all years.  (read more at Organization Timeline)

The USCIS History Library is currently active in an effort to prepare for the Department of Homeland Security’s 10th anniversary in 2013, and our research uncovered yet another forgotten name for the agency used briefly in 2003-2004.  Initially christened “Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration,” or BCIS, the agency was quickly renamed US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Today, nearly a decade later, that momentary moniker is practically forgotten.



Last Reviewed/Updated: 09/08/2015