Write an inquiry letter to the United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request information about a current or past case. Information about cases less than 100 years old can be requested by the beneficiary, known as the immigrant, or the petitioner in the case. Information requests on cases older than 100 years can be sought by anyone. Inquiries may also be made for information on the USCIS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or Historical Reference Library. Only one inquiry should be made per envelope.
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Format the letter with basic formatting such as the date, a greeting and space for a signature. State the purpose of the letter and say what specific information is being requested briefly in paragraph form. For example, if you are researching genealogy, you would write that you are seeking a copy of the immigrant's file.
List the specific details of the case you are inquiring about, with the case or file number first. Next list the petitioner, beneficiary, country of origin or any other applicable information you have. This information is not needed if you are only requesting information on the FOIA or the library.
Provide your contact information, including the address where you wish the reply to be mailed to and a phone number that you can be reached at. Sign the letter.
Enclose proof of the immigrants' death if the case is less than 100 years old and you are not the beneficiary or petitioner in the case. Enclose the fee for the genealogy search. There is no fee for case-status inquiries for cases currently in progress.
Mail the letter to the USCIS service center that is processing the open case or to the specific office designated for your request. Genealogy cases will be assigned a case number once received and it will be mailed to you. For open cases, a response will be returned to you within 21 days.
Tips & Warnings
If you do not have the file number for an ancestor, it is recommended to first request an index search in order to obtain the file number.Tags: file number, than years, case Information, Immigration Services, less than