USCIS Request and Certification

Determine if an ancestor was ever naturalized and, if so, discuss your consulate's requirements for proving this.

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USCIS Request and Certification

Postby Giuseppe » Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:57 am

Hello all,

I have great news to report. I’ve finally received a certified copy of my grandfather’s naturalization certificate from USCIS. And in a lot shorter time period than expected.

For those of you needing the certified copy in order to provide it to the consulate as evidence that your ancestor was naturalized after your parent or grandparent was born, it’s a two step process.

First you need to submit a FOIA request to:

US Citizenship and Immigration Services
2nd Floor, FOIA Unit
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20529

Be sure to enclose a completed G-639 form requesting a copy of the Naturalization Certificate and a copy of the entire C-File (which includes all of your ancestor’s naturalization documents…a wealth of information) and proof of your ancestor’s death (if applicable). I submitted a copy of my grandfather’s death certificate.

After you receive the requested documents from the FOIA office (approximately six to eight months), send a letter requesting a Certified True Copy of the naturalization certificate to:

US Citizenship and Immigration Services
4th Floor, Records Services Branch
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20529

Be sure to include a letter indicating that you need a Certified True Copy. In addition, I enclosed a copy of the letter that I received from the FOIA office, and a copy of the certificate of naturalization. I’m pleased to report that I received the certified copy in only three months! Wonderful considering that there are many reports of this taking up to a year!

Keep in mind that the more information you provide on the G-639 form, the faster USCIS will be able to process your request. Also, the FOIA office will send you a letter indicating that they received your letter and they are processing your request, the record services branch does NOT do this. So don’t panic when you don’t hear from them.
In addition, you need to remember that this is only applicable for people who were naturalized September 27, 1906 or later. For records prior to September 27, 1906 you need to contact the National Archives and the local court where the naturalization occurred.

All in all, I’m extremely pleased! Now all I have to do is wait for my appointment with the consulate to present my application (a full year!!), and pray that they don’t change the law in Italy in the mean time!

Best of luck to you all!

Giuseppe
Giuseppe
 
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Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:35 pm

Giuseppe, a Naturalization record does not have to be certified. As Angela said. even a non legible foto copy is all that is needed, and which shows the date of naturalization.
As for the DC address, that is also wrong.
Almost ALL FOIA requests are now done through Missouri.
Like Angela, I did not have to have anything certified. I am awaiting my letter of recognition, which should not be much longer.

There are No fees connected with an FOIA request, BUT, if their search leads them to a more difficult task, they do reserve the right to charge on a per hour basis. (however this is rare, as most records are found relatively quick)
Sorry, that you have to have yours certified and any expense connected with it, bust most of us do not have to.

Despite this, there are situations where a "certified copy" is necessary, and that is if you are making plans of applying in Italy, OR if a record is being used in place of another record. Consulates have been known to accept naturalization records (certified) and census records (also certified), when a particular record is lost or unable to be found.
However, as a general rule, no naturaliuzation record has to be certified, and you DO NOT have to give the consulate the original record. GIVE THEM A COPY
Anonymous
 

Postby Giuseppe » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:25 pm

I think it depends on the consulate you are applying through. The consulate I am applying through, Los Angeles, requires a certified copy from USCIS.

I would advise that, unless someone knows for sure that their consulate does not require a certified copy, request a certified copy from USCIS and avoid the hassle of doing it later if your consulate does require one.

In addition, as per the USCIS website (http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/h ... natrec.htm), FOIA requests for older naturalization records (1906-1956) should be addressed to the Washington, DC headquarters:

US Citizenship and Immigration Services
2nd Floor, FOIA Unit
111 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20529

Also, USCIS did not require that I pay any fees for either the initial FOIA request or the certification. I will add, however, that I did provide them with as much information as possible, in order to simplify the search process.

I hope this helps out.

Best,
Giuseppe
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Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:32 pm

Ok, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami DO NOT require a certified copy of a naturalization record. Most others do not also, so I am sorry to hear that you have an exception to the rule consulate. I know this for FACT, as i have helped numerous people acquire their records.
As I said, the FOIA requests are now done in Missouri at
Lees Summit.
A simple COPY of a naturalization record is all that is need, and it doesn`t even have to be that legible.
People, DO NOT give your ORIGINAL record to the consulate. Make a copy and send it in with your other docs
Anonymous
 

FOIA requests

Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:45 pm

Here is the OFFICIAL address for all requests for ALIEN FILES:

National Records Center,
FOIA/PA Office, P.O. Box 648010,
Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

If you do not have this information, it is available online along with a number to call.

If you need a Letter of Non Existence", be sure to have it "certified" for the consulate.

ALL requests DO NOT NEED to be certified with any notary seal, embossed stamp, or any other certification. A naturalization record DOES NOT need an Apostille

Obtain the naturalization record and MAKE A COPY to give to the consulate.

Naturalization records are not 'legal' documents!! it is only a record of a naturalization proceedure that took place in court. However, it is a required record to prove a date of naturalization, and not for any other purpose.
Some comunes even discard them once your documents are recorded in their comune, as after registration, it is no longer needed
Anonymous
 

Postby Giuseppe » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:56 pm

I truly wish that had been the case with the consulate in Los Angeles. I was sweating not knowing when or if I would ever receive the certified copy from USCIS. Although it only took them three months, it seemed like an eternity.

> FOIA requests are now done in Missouri at Lees Summit. <

To be on the safe side, I would make it a point to send two FOIA requests, one to the Washington, DC headquarters, and one to Lees Summit, Missouri. You have nothing to loose, other than the price of an extra stamp.

>A simple COPY of a naturalization record is all that is need, and it doesn’t even have to be that legible. <

I disagree. Obviously the name and date of naturalization need to be legible, or the document will not be accepted.

>People, DO NOT give your ORIGINAL record to the consulate. Make a copy and send it in with your other docs<

I Agree. Or better yet, if possible hand deliver your documents to the consulate.

Again, best of luck to everybody.

Giuseppe

PS.. Angiolo. I hope that you are not confusing me with the other, argumentative, Giuseppe. If so, that’s not me.
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Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:58 pm

Lees Summit is the correct address for FOIA naturalization record requests. ALL OTHER records can be obtained in Washington DC.

And NO, the naturalization record does not have to be certified.
Anonymous
 

Postby Giuseppe » Tue Oct 03, 2006 4:17 pm

Again, it depends on the consulate you are applying through. The consulate I am applying through, Los Angeles, DOES require a certified copy from USCIS.

Also, people are free to send their requests wherever they wish. I sent mine to Washington, DC, and received the records in about six months.

Have a look at:

http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/aboutus/h ... natrec.htm

As I stated in my other post, this is for older files (1906-1956).
Giuseppe
 
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Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:31 pm

Giuseppe, i am not confused as to who you are. Anyway, when i said the naturalization record does not have to be that legible, I meant, (as I said before that), that as long as the date is legible is what really matters. of course the name would also have to be legible. This is the pertinent information they are looking for.
As for you having to wait 3 or 6 months is not out of the norm. The problem I had, was at first, I sent an FOIA request to Washington DC. After 2 1/2 months I called them to ask about how far along they were, etc. I was 'shocked' to learn my request was sent to Missouri !. They gave me a number to call and i did. The person said they JUST RECEIVED my request and that I should receive a letter soon. Well, I did receive a letter about a week later, telling me that they received my request and would process it, as soon as possible. They had a phone number which I could call with further questions, and assigned a # to the request. Within 2 weeks after, I received the naturalization records, almost completely 'non legible'. However, I was able to view the 'name' age, and date of natralization. I made 3 copies.
To make things even more interesting I received TWO records!! of my grandfather and a person with the same name. I called asking why they sent the "extra" record, and was told that BOTH RECORDS were in the SAME FILE!!!! I asked why, and they had no clue, except to say, it must have been done in the 1940`s before the records were sent to Missouri.
I kept the extra record, but there was nothing in it that pertained to my relative.
So, then I thought, what IF I had not called Washington? Now, on most websites, they advertise that most foia requests go to Missouri, but I see that certain areas must use washington or some other office. It doesn`t matter, as long as the end result is what matters
Anonymous
 

Postby Giuseppe » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:57 am

Angiolo,

Thanks for the clarification. When I was waiting for my documents to arrive I also called the office in Washington. The lady I spoke with was very candid in regards to the problems the agency is facing following its transfer to Homeland Security. From what she told me, chaos abounds. I’m guessing that the reason that some FOIA requests are now going to Missouri while others go to Washington is all due to the transition. Hopefully things will eventually get sorted out and requests will begin to get processed in a timelier manner. I wish the same could be true for the consulates and comunes in regards to processing requests. Having to wait for so long is very difficult. I’m in the same situation as you, in that I also want to move to Italy after my Italian citizenship is finally recognized.

After you get settled in, please continue to update us on how you are doing. Thanks again for the input, and congratulations on receiving your citizenship.

Best,
Giuseppe
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Postby mw159 » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:54 am

Angiolo wrote:Ok, NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami DO NOT require a certified copy of a naturalization record. Most others do not also, so I am sorry to hear that you have an exception to the rule consulate. I know this for FACT, as i have helped numerous people acquire their records.
As I said, the FOIA requests are now done in Missouri at
Lees Summit.
A simple COPY of a naturalization record is all that is need, and it doesn`t even have to be that legible.
People, DO NOT give your ORIGINAL record to the consulate. Make a copy and send it in with your other docs


Ok, so tell me what is meant by naturalization record? you toss the term around but as far as I know the term applies to all Naturalization records not just Cert of Nat
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Postby Anonymous » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:58 am

a naturalization record consists of

1. declaration of intent
2. petition
3 oath of allegiance
4. oath of loyalty (not in all record files)
5. certificate of naturalization

The National Archives may give you a naturalization record, but minus #5, the certificate of naturalization. This certificate is the most important since it shows clearly that the person did in fact become a US citizen, while the petition and declarations only show that the person applied. Many times, an applicant would return to Italy before the process was complete, or was deported for some reason, like MOB connections.
Deespite this, a few people have said they were successful at just giving the Consulate the petition, but ordinarily, they would need another document to support this.
always best to ask the consulate to be sure, as consulates are different
Anonymous
 

Postby mw159 » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:17 pm

Good, we recived also the Oath of allegiance and it was signed in court.
other then renounce allegiance to VICTOR EMMANUEL III KING OF ITALY.
at a bottom line has ; Petition granted: Line No. 12....of List No.30-5 and Certificate No. 4461073 issued.

This was done at Naturalization Ceremony then they handed of Cert of Nat.
I hope this will do the job, if not we will be waiting on FOIA for our copy.
MW
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Postby Anonymous » Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:26 pm

yes, it is best to check with the consulate on whether they will acept this. It is sad that the consulates cannot be in agreement on certain issues, because it makes people wonder why one individual will have something "waved', while another is not given that option and often has to endure much hardship. However, Italy does have a certain criteria that is necessary for the completion of citizenship. Often the consulates are "making sure" everything is complete for the stato civile status in the comune. There is the issue of some consulates requiring both paternal and Maternal side documents, while others only the side in which you obtain citizenship. why the difference is anyone's guess, as the ultimate destination is Italy
Anonymous
 

Postby Em » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:19 pm

You'll be just fine. Congratulations.
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