A-Files Image Gallery

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A-Files, were opened or consolidated for every immigrant who arrived after
April 1, 1944, or who naturalized after April 1, 1956.  Immigrants who
naturalized between 1944 and 1956 should not have an A-File.  In 2010 USCIS
began the process of transferring A-Files of immigrants born more than 100 years
ago to the National Archives.  The vast majority of A-Files remain in USCIS custody.
Post-WW II War Bride Visa
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The foundation document of most A-Files is an immigrant visa and alien registration. 
Visa and registration forms vary by date and class of admission.  This illustration
features a post-WW II War Bride visa.
Petition for Relative

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If an immigrant’s relatives petitioned for their visa, their A-file should contain the
petition and supporting documents.


AR-2 Registration Form

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Immigrants who arrived prior to 1944, but for whom an A-File was later created,
will often have an original copy of their AR-2 registration form in their A-File.


Enemy Alien in World War II Record

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If an immigrant was classified as an Enemy Alien in World War II, records of their
Enemy Alien status should be found in their A-File.

Consolidated A-Files
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Consolidated A-Files include a report of the search for all other agency records of
the immigrant.  The report indicates what prior records were consolidated into the

Refugee Documents
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A-Files of immigrants admitted as refugees typically hold documents created under
specific refugee legislation.

Change of Address Card
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In the 1940’s registered aliens were required to report any change of address using
a post-card form.  After 1950 they had to report their address every January
whether or not the address changed.  A-Files may contain one or more of these
post-cards among various documents.


Application to File Petition of Naturalization
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Immigrants naturalized after March 31, 1956 had all their naturalization documents
filed in their A-file.  These include the extensive Application to File a Petition for
Naturalization which includes complete biographical information.

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Immigrants naturalized after March 31, 1956 had all their naturalization documents
filed in their A-file, including a duplicate copyof the certificate of naturalization
(naturalization documents dated prior to 4/01/1956 see C-Files).

Alien Registration Files (A Files)
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A-File content is as unique as the individual it represents.  They may have
only a few pages or contain 100’s of pages in multiple folders.  Like other
USCIS files, A-File content depends on the history of interaction between
the immigrant and the agency.


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