FOIA Advisor

Q&A: where to find grandfather's immigration records

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.  To which agency should I submit a FOIA request to get my grandfather's immigration information?

A. If your grandfather arrived in the United States before 1983, you might wish to contact the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which maintains records of ship arrivals to the United States from foreign ports between approximately 1820 and 1982.  If you are interested in Alien Files ("A-Files"), which were first created in the early 1940s, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) transfers those files to NARA 100 years after the immigrant's date of birth.