About the Genealogy Program
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.
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How Does the Process Work?
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Historical Record Series
The USCIS Genealogy Program is authorized to make five (5) series of the agency’s historical records available to requesters.
Immigrant Files, (A-Files) are the individual alien case files, which became the official file for all immigration records created or consolidated since April 1, 1944.
Alien Registration Forms (AR-2s)
Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2) are copies of approximately 5.5 million Alien Registration Forms completed by all aliens age 14 and older, residing in or entering the United States between August 1, 1940 and March 31, 1944.
Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) are copies of records relating to all U.S. naturalizations in Federal, State, county, or municipal courts, overseas military naturalizations, replacement of old law naturalization certificates, and the issuance of Certificates of Citizenship in derivative, repatriation, and resumption cases.
Registry Files are records, which document the creation of immigrant arrival records for persons who entered the United States prior to July 1, 1924, and for whom no arrival record could later be found.
Visa Files are original arrival records of immigrants admitted for permanent residence under provisions of the Immigration Act of 1924.
Image Galleries - Worth a Thousand Words
We are excited to share our image galleries, which provide an up-close and personal view of the most common files types available from the USCIS Genealogy Program. Each image provides a description and pinpoints the location of the file number pertaining to each record.
Quick Guide to finding INS Case and Correspondence Files Related to Specific Individuals
Why Some C-Files May Lack a Declaration of Intention