3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 24, 2020 7:20 PM by Anne Faylor

    What documents are in a C-file?

    Anne Faylor Newbie

      We ordered my husband's grandfather's C-File from USCIS for dual citizenship and received a letter from USCIS regarding his grandfather.  Included in the letter was a copy of Certificate of Naturalization, Petition for Naturalization and Declaration of Intention but no other records due to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The letter states "We have completed the review of all documents and have identified 3 pages that are responsive to your request...Exemption (b)(6) permits the government to withhold .... The types of documents and/or information that we have withheld may consist of birth certificates, naturalization certificates, drivers' licenses, social security numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, or various other documents and/or information belonging to a third party that are considered personal."


      In another genealogy record request (A-file), we received birth certificates for the person and their children, their marriage license, Immigrant Identification card, Immigration Visa and the application for the Visa so I was expecting the same in a C-file.  I emailed USCIS but was told "we did not withhold any documents. C files do not contain anything more than what you received."  I think the grandfather would have had to submit those additional documents such as birth certificate prior to naturalization so where do they go and why aren't they part of a C-File?  How would I locate them? Thank you.

        • Re: What documents are in a C-file?
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          Depending on the time period your grandfather may have first had an A (alien) file, with all the paperwork you mentioned, so he did not have to re-submit it when applying for citizenship.  You may want to ask USCIS if there is an A-file.

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          • Re: What documents are in a C-file?
            Cara Jensen Tracker

            Dear Ms. Faylor,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            Most C-Files only contain the declaration, petition, and certificate.  If USCIS Genealogy did not identify any additional INS records available in their Index Search, there will be no other records to locate.  Although he may have had to present them for viewing by the court, your husband’s grandfather would not have been required to submit any additional documents as part of his naturalization proceedings.  A-Files and C-Files had different purposes and so normally contain entirely different records. If he has a C-File (meaning he naturalized between September 27, 1906 and March 31, 1956), then he will not have an A-File.


            If information was redacted from the three pages of C-File materials, we suggest that you contact the NARA office maintaining records for that geographic area to obtain open access since their staff should maintain a copy of the declaration and petition, but they will not have the certificate in their holdings.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!


            [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]


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