2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2021 7:11 PM by Tammy Driver

    Seeking documents required to immigrate from Ukraine

    Tammy Driver Newbie

      What documents, identification or otherwise, would an immigrant from the Ukraine or Russia been required to have to immigrate to the US in 1916?

        • Re: Seeking documents required to immigrate from Ukraine
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Ms. Driver,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We searched the National Archives Microfilm Catalog and located Records of Imperial Russian Consulates in the United States, 1862-1922 (M1486) and the Records of Imperial Russian Consulates in Canada, 1898-1922.(M1742) in the Records of Former Russian Agencies (Record Group 261) that may contain information about documents surrendered by Ukrainian and Russian immigrants in 1916. The records have not been digitized. For information about M1486 and M1742, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. The original records were returned to Russia in 1990. The microfilm serves as the record-copy.


          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


          When individuals who sought entry into the United States were inspected at Ports of Entry, they had a certificate (a "landing card") pinned to their chest before they entered. This would act as a health certificate (they needed to show proof of vaccination or be vaccinated before leaving the ship). The number of the certificate would also be used to cross-reference their names on the ship’s passenger list, or manifest.  The inspector, sometimes assisted by a translator, usually spent about two minutes per person, checking answers against the ship’s manifest to basic questions about nationality, marital status, and occupation.  Additional questions or tests depended upon prevailing immigration law. Immigrants called this stage “pocket examination” because of the need to show funds and paperwork, or at least a ticket to some destination. 


          Please see Early American Immigration Policies and Immigrant Documents and Documentation for more information.


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


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