1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 3, 2019 7:33 AM by Jason Atkinson

    When were Europeans required to have passports to enter U.S. ?


      My family entered the U.S. from Spain in 1920.   Did they need passports?

        • Re: When were Europeans required to have passports to enter U.S. ?
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Vega,


          Thank you for posting your request to History Hub!

          Passports are issued to citizens so that they can exit and re-enter their home country; immigrants did not need a passport to immigrate into the US.  It is possible the family members you are researching had a Spanish passport, but those records are Spanish Consular Records that do not exist in the US.  Some of the Spanish passport records from the time frame in question have been digitized by FamilySearch.org:  https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Spain,_Consular_Records_of_Emigrants_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)


          Since WWI, the US Federal government has required immigrants to obtain Visas to enter the country.  Unfortunately, the pre-1923 visa files no longer exist, so the passenger manifest serves as the official record of arrival.

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

          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]


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