Basic (09-87)

GN 00302.920 Claimant is an Alien Who Arrived Before 7/1/24 — Sources of Immigration and Alien Registration Records

A. General

If the claimant is an alien who arrived in the U.S. before 7/1/24, an arrival record or alien registration record may be obtained from INS.

B. Location of arrival record

Information from the arrival record can be obtained from the following Verification Centers of INS:

Place of Entry Address
  • Canadian Border, and

  • Ports along eastern seaboard and Gulf of Mexico as far as, and including, ports of entry in State of Louisiana.

74 Kingman Street, St. Albans, VT 05478

  • Mexican Land Border

INS Verification Center, 1545 Hawkins Blvd., Suite 124, El Paso, TX 79925

  • Ports along western seaboard (including Hawaii), as well as ports in Texas

630 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

C. Information on arrival records

The age information on arrival records is taken from the “List of Manifest of Alien Passengers for the U.S. Immigration Officer at Port of Arrival” prepared by the ship's purser. (In the case of some arrivals from Canada and Mexico, documentary evidence of age was required from the alien). Age, not DB, is shown on this record.

Arrival records may show the marital status of an immigrant. However, they will show other information about a spouse or children only if they accompanied the immigrant.

D. How arrival records are arranged

Most of these records are arranged by soundex code. The reason that an arrival record has not been located in a significant number of cases is that the individual failed to furnish correct or sufficient information regarding his/ her arrival. It is getting more difficult to locate arrival records because many current claimant's were children at the time of arrival and they, of course, may not be as sure of the facts of their arrival as therr parents were.

IF the claimant furnishes... AND... THEN... location

The exact name given on arrival

The name is not a very common name

You do not need to provide complete or totally accurate information concerning

A slight variation in names which does not  affect the soundex code

  • Date of arrival, and

  • Name of ship, and

  • Port of embarkation

to enable INS to locate a record.

The exact name given on arrival

The name is a common name

Obtain a more exact arrival date.

A name which varies from the name originally given to the extent that it affects the soundex code


E. Initial DO requests for arrival records

To assure greater success in obtaining the arrival record:

  • Assist the claimant in completing Form G-639 in duplicate, and

  • Retain the duplicate copy in file as it may be useful if additional information is needed for a successful research.

F. Soliciting information from claimant

To solicit accurate information regarding date of arrival

  • It may frequently be necessary to discuss various aspects of the claimant's life history, e.g.,

    • How old claimant believes he/she was at time of arrival

    • The relation between date of arrival and World War I, schooling, or other significant events

  • In some cases advise the claimant to discuss the matter thorougly with members of his/her family or other relatives or friends who may be able to supply required information regarding arrival.

  • In other cases it might be advisable for claimant to seek assistance of the local INS district office which has the alien registration file. The information furnished by the claimant in the 1940 alien registration (see H. below) regarding arrival may possibly be more accurate than current recollection.

G. DO requests for additional search or arrival records

The INS will contact additional searches for the arrival records at not additional fee if amended or additional arrival data is furnished. Thus, if the Verification Center was unable to locate the arrival record based upon the information initially furnished, and arrival record is still necessary, reinterview the claimant to determine whether more accurate information would possibly permit a successful research.

The extent and nature of the additional assistance possible depends to some extent on whether the initial request was made with the assistance of the DO, through an INS district office, or whether submitted directly by the claimant.

To request an additional search, do the following:

  • Specifically refer to the previous, unsuccessful search.

  • Include all the information required on the Form G-639.

  • Attach a special tag to permit INS to give first priority to such requests.

H. Location of alien registration record

Age information from alien registration records made pursuant to the provisions of the Alien Registration Act of 1940 can be obtained from the INS local district office having jurisdiction over immigration matters at the alien's place of residence.

I. Information on alien registration record

Record Age Information Based On
Original alien registration DB alleged under oath when alien registered under the Alien Registration Act of 1940
Originally issued alien registration card (I-151 or I-551)
Replacement alien registration card Alien's more recent allegation.

J. Note

Additionally, when the Alien Registration Act went into effect, the emphasis was placed on registration of those aliens in the U.S. Thus, the age on the card issued to such an alien may have been based solely on his/her allegation.

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GN 00302.920 - Claimant is an Alien Who Arrived Before 7/1/24 — Sources of Immigration and Alien Registration Records - 03/07/2005
Batch run: 10/21/2014