Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on USCIS Genealogy Program

Today is the first day for using the online fee for service program at the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Actually, online may be a little of a misnomer as you still must make your Genealogy Requests via mail.

An index search for an ancestor will cost you $20.00 and the form to make such a request will be Form G-1041 available on the website. The USCIS will look through a variety of indices and will list all that pertain to your ancestor. You can fill the form out online but you will need to print it, as you cannot save it to your computer.

If your ancestor’s birth date is less than 100 years prior to the date you make the request, you must attach proof of death. Payment must accompany each request.

If you already have a valid USCIS file number, you may skip the index search and make a record copy request. Again, payment must be sent in with your request. Note: There will be NO refunds, should you submit invalid or non-existent file number.

The fee is $20 when taken from a microfilm copy and $35.00 when taken from an existing hard copy. Below are the types of records available.

1. Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files) from September 27, 1906 to April 1, 1956
2. Alien Registration Forms from August 1, 1940 to March 31, 1944
3. Visa Files from July1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
4. Registry Files from March 2, 1929 to March 31, 1944
5. Alien Files (A-files) numbered below 8 million and documents therein dated prior to May 1, 1951.

To make a genealogy request via mail you will use Form G-1041A.

Both Form G -1041 and Form G -1041A should be mailed to the address below for processing.

USCIS Genealogy Program
PO Box 805925
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

Go to the USCIS website for complete details on this new service. No word on how long you can expect the process to take.

No word either, on the status of my request. My hunch – it’s in limbo.

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