1 Reply Latest reply on May 10, 2019 1:56 PM by Rebecca Collier

    Seeking AR-2 File for my grandfather


      My grandfather never naturalized and was living in Washington, DC in 1940 when AR-2 registration was strongly encouraged. Of course I have no idea if he ever registered or not ....Supposedly you can research on the NARA website, but I cannot figure out how to do that.

      Please help me!

        • Re: Seeking AR-2 File for my grandfather
          Rebecca Collier Ranger

          Dear Ms. Crescenzi,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          The Alien Registration Act of 1940 required all immigrants over the age of 14 living in the US to register their alien status with the Federal government.  In 1940, immigrants completed an Alien Registration Form (AR-2) and were assigned an Alien Registration Number (A-Number). Beginning in April 1944, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) began utilizing the A-Numbers to create Alien Files (A-Files).  The National Archives (NARA) currently maintains A-Files for individuals born 1918 and prior. All A-Files maintained by NARA are name searchable in our Online Catalog (https://catalog.archives.gov/).  Please look for a result titled “Alien Case File for [name]” or “A-File for [name]” in the search results.  If you find a name match, be sure to click on the title and read the full description since there are biographical details listed in the Scope & Content note for each entry. 


          If you do not locate an entry matching your grandfather, that does not mean that a record does not exist, it merely means any existing record has not yet come to NARA for permanent retention.  In that case, please follow up with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Genealogy Program (www.uscis.gov/genealogy) to request an Index Search to determine what record(s) do(es) exist and order copies.  USCIS maintains a variety of immigration/naturalization file types that INS created including AR-2 Forms, A-Files, etc.


          For more information about A-Files at NARA, please check the website at https://www.archives.gov/research/immigration/aliens/a-files-kansas-city.html.


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


          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]

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