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Dear Mr. Duncan,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
Alien Files (A-Files) are eligible for transfer to NARA custody 100 years after the immigrant's year of birth. Created by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) beginning in April 1944, A-Files contain all records of any active case of an alien not yet naturalized as they passed through the United States immigration and inspection process. An A-File might also be created without any action taken by the alien; for example, if the INS initiated a law enforcement action against or involving the alien.
A-Files for the entire United States and its territories are being centralized at the National Archives at Kansas City (RM-KC). Currently, RM-KC has more than 1,100,000 A-Files for individuals who were born 1918 and prior. The National Archives at San Francisco (RW-SB) maintains some of the available A-Files from the INS district offices located in San Francisco, Honolulu, Reno, and Guam. RW-SB has about 200,000 A-Files for individuals who were born 1910 and prior. Researchers seeking individuals who may have lived in these areas should check both the National Archives at San Francisco and Kansas City records for A-Files.
A-Files may be viewed in person by visiting the National Archives at Kansas City or San Francisco by appointment. Copies of files may be ordered for a fee. Researchers should search the National Archives Catalog to determine if NARA currently has custody of an A-File for a specific individual.
Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received. We apologize for any inconvenience.
For information on A-Files not in the custody of the National Archives, please contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Genealogy Program.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
[Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]