11 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2022 11:22 AM by Stacy Dietzler

    Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index

    Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

      Does anyone have experience requesting a G-1041 index search which is for immigration records? Specifically, searching for visa documents? As I continue to try and obtain records for dual citizenship - U.S. & Poland, it was advised by an immigration attorney consult that I try and locate visa documents. He shared that it's very rare that those types of documents are found. In doing some research, I came across the G-1041 for the index search. The cost is a $65 non-refundable fee and I will need to request three individual index searches for my father and grandparents. Has anyone had success with a G-1041 index search and if so, what types of records were found? Below is the G-1041 info for your reference:

      https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/g-1041instr.pdf

      https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/g-1041.pdf

        • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Ms. Dietzler,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          For questions about information obtained from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service  (USCIS) Genealogy Index Search Request using Form G-1041 and if you are in the United States or a U.S. territory, please contact a representative by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern, except on federal holidays. 

           

          The National Archives has custody of some visa records that may be relevant to your research as well. We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Name Index, 1910- 1973 to the series Central Decimal Files, 1910-1963 in the General Records of the Department of State (Record Group 59) that may include index references to your relative filed under decimal file 811.111. This file number is for documents relating to the applications from foreign citizens for a visa to enter the United States. We also located the series Visa Case Files, 1914-1940 in Record Group 59 that may include a case file for your father or grandparents. These records have not been digitized. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

           

          Please note that beginning in April 1940, under normal Department of State records management procedures, such visa files were destroyed after initial administrative use. If you have additional questions pertaining to these files or procedures, please contact the Department of State Records Manager, SA-2; Room 5117; 515 22nd Street, NW; Washington, DC 20522.

           

          We suggest that you review the National Archives web page Department of State Visa Records for more information.

           

          Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2.  We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information.

           

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

           

            • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
              Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

              Thank you for your reply and info. Per your suggestion, I called the USCIS contact center and was not able to speak with a representative. It was a recording that responded with asking to send me a G-1041 form which I initially located online. I also emailed the National Archives at College Park for guidance and received an auto email that the facility is closed due to COVID. 

               

              I am wanting to find visa records for Ryzsard Szot, Hersz Szot and Sylka Szot who immigrated from Warsaw, Poland and arrived on the S.S. Aquitania on 05/16/1939 in New York. Because there is a  $65 fee to request an index search which is non-refundable, and I would need to request three index searches = $195, I wanted to know if this is the correct form as I was not sure why type of documents are found with a G-1041 request, specifically a visa record?

               

              You mentioned that the records during that time frame (1939) may not be digitized - does that mean that I should go ahead and submit a G-1041 index search for my three relatives?

               

              This has been a frustrating experience trying to get my one question answered from the USCIS and the National Archives.

               

              Appreciate your time and assistance.

                • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                  Josette Schluter Navigator

                  Dear Ms. Dietzler,

                   

                  Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                   

                  Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgment as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 about the non-digitized State Department records mentioned in our previous response. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience as we balance mission-critical work and the safety of our staff during the pandemic. Please check NARA’s web page about COVID-19 updates for the latest information. If it has been an extended period of time since your initial inquiry, you could always send a follow-up email to archives2reference@nara.gov

                   

                  In the meanwhile, The Statue of Liberty—Ellis Island Foundation, Inc has an online searchable database of 65 million records of passengers arriving to the Port of New York from 1820 to 1957 that may include the person(s) you seek.

                   

                  While the National Archives can not comment on the timetable that USCIS may respond to your request, they are most likely experiencing a significant backlog due to the COVID-19. The G-1041 is a general search form that the USCIS uses to search their various indexes. It is up to you to determine whether you want to request the USCIS to conduct a search of their indexes or not.

                   

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

                   

                    • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                      Rich Venezia Adventurer

                      Stacy, did your people of interest ever naturalize? If they naturalized after 04/01/1944, their files may have all been consolidated into either a C-File or an A-File, depending on their date of naturalization. If so, you may not need the index search, as you might already have the A-number or C-number from their naturalization paperwork.

                       

                      But, yes, the G-1041 will search for all available records of the Genealogy Program - Visa Files, Alien Registration Forms, Alien Files, Registry Files, and C-Files. So an index search would get you the information that you need... and if the record was consolidated, it would show only which records are now extant for you to request.

                        • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                          Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

                          Thank you Rich for your reply. My father naturalized on 1/26/1945 and my grandfather on 1/16/1945. I have a clear copy from ancestry.com of my father's certificate. I've been in the process of waiting to receive his C-File certificate that was found in the index search. I have the original certificate of my grandfather and did not have an index search done for him. I am also waiting for an AR-2 Alien Record for my father to be mailed to me. I'm hoping that document will reveal some visa documents. I do not have any documents for my grandmother so I'm not sure a G-1041 index request would turn up any documents? She did not naturalize.

                           

                          It sounds like I should wait for the C-File and AR-2 documents to be mailed to me first to see what turns up especially, in the AR-2 document. I requested those two files in September 2021 and it's been 5 months thus far. I understand that it takes approximately 180 business days to process requests so hopefully, in the next few months I will receive the files and can assess from there. What's another 180 days should I need to request the G-1041 files?

                            • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                              Rich Venezia Adventurer

                              Hi Stacy --

                               

                              If anything, the visa for your father would be contained within the C-File, as that should have consolidated all of the previous files. In fact, the AR-2 may also be included in that file. The AR-2 that you ordered will only be a 2-page document and will not contain any other files. IF you ordered an A-File, that is a different story.

                               

                              I would recommend ordering your grandfather's C-File, as that should contain his various documents as well.

                               

                              I do think a G-1041 index search for your grandmother will turn up documents, likely a visa file and perhaps an A-File.

                               

                              R

                                • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                                  Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

                                  Thanks Rich for the info. Apparently, only an AR-2 index search was found for my father so does that mean there isn't just an A-file?

                                   

                                  I haven't requested any index searches yet for my grandmother and grandfather. Do I just start with the C-file index search requests for both grandparents and also request G-1041 index searches simultaneously for them, plus the G-1041 for my father? Hope this makes sense.

                                   

                                  Because these index searches are non-refundable, I want to ensure that I request the appropriate ones.

                                  Appreciate your guidance.

                                    • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                                      Rich Venezia Adventurer

                                      Stacy - if the index search only showed an AR-2 and not an A-File, then there should only be the AR-2 and a consolidated C-File.

                                       

                                      You would do a C-File records request via G-1041A for your father and grandfather, not index searches (which is G-1041). As for your grandmother, I would do an index search via G-1041.

                                       

                                      I would not do a G-1041A for your father's AR-2. as that will also likely be contained within his consolidated C-File.

                                        • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                                          Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

                                          Thank you Rich for helping me to sort out the appropriate forms which I appreciate. I drafted a matrix below based on what you've guided me with. Hopefully, it looks correct.

                                           

                                          Just to add the both my father and grandfather naturalized and not my grandmother. I need to obtain visa information for my father, grandfather and grandmother which may help my dual citizenship chances according to an attorney in Poland where he would be able to recreate my father's birth record which I have not been able to locate after an exhaustive search.

                                           

                                          Per the attorney - "If you have proof that both your grandparents were Polish citizens recreation of your father's birth certificate will be enough to proceed your case because in such case you will have proofs that your grandparents were PL citizens and marriage of your grandparents won't be something which will be needed in your case. In such case it will be easy to prove that your father could inherit PL citizenship in both cases - when your grandparents were married and if were not married (birth certificate of your father will be then official link between him and his parents)".

                                               

                                               

                                          USCIS Forms
                                          C-File Index C-File RecordAR-2 G-1041G-1041A
                                          Richard/RyzardCompletedUSCIS Mailing Record

                                          USCIS Mailing

                                          Record

                                          Request
                                          Harry/HersxNoRequest
                                          Sylvia/SylkaNoRequest
                                            • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                                              Rich Venezia Adventurer

                                              Stacy --

                                               

                                              There may very well be a copy of your father's birth record within his visa file (which should be within his C-File). It was a requirement for immigration at that time. If he was unable to obtain one from Poiland, there should be an affidavit or testimony as to his date and birth place.

                                               

                                              The table isn't showing up properly. Can you do it in a different format? Or -- I think it says this, so you can just confirm:

                                               

                                              Richard - C-File Index search completed; USCIS mailing C-File record; USCIS mailing AR-2 record

                                              Harry - you are going to do a G-1041A request since you have his C-File number

                                              Sylvia - you are going to do a G-1041 index search request since you don't know her numbers

                                               

                                              ... do I have that right? Do you have any papers of your grandmother's that might include an A-number? I think you said no, right?

                                               

                                              R

                                                • Re: Seeking feedback regarding use of G-1041 Index
                                                  Stacy Dietzler Adventurer

                                                  Hello Rich - thank you for your reply and helpful info which I greatly appreciate. I am so thankful to have found this site as it's been overwhelming trying to figure all the documents needed. You have been a huge help trying to help me sort all of this out and can't thank you enough.

                                                   

                                                  Wow - I didn't know that there may be a chance that my father's birth record may be included with his C-file which would be the missing and vital piece to my dual citizenship quest. I don't want to get my hopes up but it may be a glimmer of hope. I've been waiting since September 2021 to receive the C-File and AR-2 file which was after more than a year of waiting for the initial index search results.

                                                   

                                                  Regarding the matrix (apologies it didn't format correctly) You deciphered it correctly and see my comments below:

                                                   

                                                  1 - Richard - C-File Index search completed; USCIS mailing C-File record; USCIS mailing AR-2 record - Correct

                                                  2 - Harry - you are going to do a G-1041A request since you have his C-File number - I have my grandfather's original petition for naturalization with a 7-digit number in the right hand corner. I assume that I include that number with the G-1041A request - Correct?

                                                  3 - Sylvia - you are going to do a G-1041 index search request since you don't know her numbers - Correct as I do not have any documents of my grandmother except a color copy of the family passport cover page and the four passport family photos (grandfather, grandmother, father and uncle) with birth year, birth place, profession, hair and eye color.  I'm unable to read the other line or two in Polish that's on that page.