Customers can now turn to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for help in researching their family’s immigration history through the agency’s new Genealogy Program.
USCIS maintains historical records documenting the arrival and naturalization of millions of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the late 1800s or and naturalized between 1906 and 1956. Until today, the process to request these records was handled through a Freedom of Information Act / Privacy Act (FOIA) request.
“In many cases USCIS is the only government agency that has certain historical records that provide the missing link which genealogists or family historians need,” said Jonathan “Jock” Scharfen, USCIS’ Acting Director.
The agency anticipates interest in genealogy to continue to grow. In the past four years alone, USCIS received more than 40,000 FOIA requests for historical records. The new genealogy program will create a dedicated queue for genealogists, historians and others seeking genealogical and historical records and reference services that generally require no FOIA expertise. As a result, USCIS will provide more timely responses to requests for records of deceased individuals.
Individuals may submit genealogy records requests by using the new forms, G-1041 -Genealogy Index Search Request, and G-1041A - Genealogy Records Request. Both forms are available on the new USCIS Genealogy Program. The fees include:
Genealogy Index Search - $20
Copy of a File on Microfilm - $20
Copy of a Textual File Copy - $35