3 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2021 4:22 PM by Michael Gaussa

    Seeking Certificate of Non-Existence of a Naturalization Record

    Anne Faylor Newbie

      My family would like to apply for Dual Citizenship through my husband's family through the rule of 1948.  His parents, were both born in Italy and came to the United States as minors after their fathers naturalized. As far as I can tell both of the grandmothers did not naturalize before their children became adults. I have submitted a search request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for my husband's grandmothers and his mother.  Working with the local county historical society, I have not found any documentation that either of my husband's parents ever applied for citizenship on their own. 


      USCIS did a search on my husband's father in 2018.  They stated “prior to May 24, 1934, the naturalization of a father conferred citizenship upon those of his minor children born abroad, who arrived in the United States for permanent residence before their twenty-first birthday. Therefore your father became a US citizen upon his father’s 1933 naturalization. There is no evidence that the son applied for a certificate of citizenship in his own name. Our search included all variations of the subject’s name.”


      Do I need to request a Certificate of Non-Existence of a Naturalization Record for all four family members - the two mothers that did not submit naturalization paperwork and the two minors that became US citizens through their father's naturalization, but never filed for citizenship on their own?


      Should I wait until the USCIS search is complete that says they could not find any records or is the local county historical society information enough to prove there are no naturalization records?

        • Re: Seeking Certificate of Non-Existence of a Naturalization Record
          Lisha Penn Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Faylor,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Because the two minors derived American citizenship from their father, the U.S. Customs & Immigration Service (USCIS) will be unable to issue a Certification of Non-Existence. Their record of naturalization is ultimately their father’s citizenship paperwork. 


          Nevertheless, we suggest that you request the USCIS to issue Certification of Non-Existence for the two mothers. The USCIS office that issues these certifications is separate from the USCIS Genealogy Program that you would have requested a search through; and the two requests can be in place simultaneously.

          To request a certificate of non-existence of a specific record, write directly to the USCIS Records Services at the address below. Your request must include the immigrant’s:

          • Name (including all name variants and aliases)
          • Date of birth
          • Place of birth
          • Include when & where the immigrant arrived in or lived in the U.S. (names of immediate immigrant relatives can also be helpful)

          If the immigrant’s birth date is less than 100 years before the request date, you also must include a copy of their birth or death certificate. You should mail your request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Attn: Certification of Non-Existence,1200 First Street NE 2nd Floor,Washington, D.C. 20529-2204. Please note that USCIS does not accept original requests by email; and will only mail out certificates to U.S. addresses. You may contact them at  certificateofnonexistence@uscis.dhs.gov if you have any questions.

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

          [Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]


          3 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking Certificate of Non-Existence of a Naturalization Record
              Michael Gaussa Wayfarer

              USCIS has a backlog of work and my request for Index Search for Naturalization Records for my great grandparents and grandfather can take up to 6 months to answer.


              Questions:  Is it logical to ask for a Certificate of Non-Existence of Record before I get an answer from USCIS that they could not find any records?  If the record does exist will the Record Search people at USCIS know to tell the Non-Existence of Record people to issue a Denial Letter?


              To complicate the issue, my grandfather did in fact naturalize in 1891, his record is with NARA, and I already received that certified copy.  The NARA folks told me to request the Index Search with USCIS first, and then get the Certificate of Non-Existence of Records.  Can anyone offer me some clarity?  I would like to get the Certificate of Non-Existence of Record rolling if that can be done concurrently with the Index Search.

            • Re: Seeking Certificate of Non-Existence of a Naturalization Record
              Michael Gaussa Wayfarer

              Hello Anne,


              Have you made any progress with your Index Search and Certificate of Non-Existence of Records?


              I am doing the same thing as you are and am still waiting for the Index Search results.  The Status says the search was completed on 8/4/21, but I have not received anything in the mail three weeks later.


              I am hesitant to start the request for the Certificate of Non-Existence of Records until I get negative Index Search results.  It just doesn't make any sense to me to do both at the same time.


              Was the address the specialist gave you correct?  I found a different address online.