If you have a certain number of genea-friends on social media, you may have already seen this, but we want to inform you about something that is currently going on in the genealogy world.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS) has proposed an outrageous fee increase, raising the fees for a $65 search and the follow-up $65 record retrieval to $240 and $385 — a 492% increase.
What files does the USCIS have?
- Naturalization Certificate Files (C-Files), September 27, 1906 to March 31, 1956
- Alien Registration Forms (Form AR-2), August 1940 to March 1944
- Visa Files, July 1, 1924 to March 31, 1944
- Registry Files, March 1929 to March 31, 1944
- A-Files, April 1, 1944 to May 1, 1951
These are records that cannot be found anywhere else. NARA should have already received some of these files, which would make them easier for genealogists to access, but they have not been passed along as they should have been. And no genealogy organization has access to them or even to the indexes.
The USCIS has provided an opportunity for us to comment on the proposed rule that dramatically impacts the USCIS Genealogy Records Program.
You can read more about the rule proposal at https://www.recordsnotrevenue.com/ as well as see samples of some documents you may get from USCIS.
We encourage all of our members and friends to then follow through and comment on how you feel about this fee increase at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=USCIS-2019-0010-0001. They have already received over 11,000 comments and you can leave a comment until the end of December.